Ellen van Dijk has announced that she is expecting her first child in September ©Getty Images

Dutch cyclist Ellen van Dijk has announced that she is expecting her first child in September and aims to win a medal at next year’s Olympics in Paris following her return to competition.

The two-time reigning road cycling world champion said she discovered that she was pregnant when training with Trek-Segafredo in January and praised the support of her team to the news.

She said she now planned to return to action in 2024 in preparation for the Olympics where she admitted she had "unfinished business".

"Me and Benjamin are super excited to share the news that we are expecting our first child in September. It has always been our wish to start a family, and so to have this wish come true still feels a bit unreal right now," van Dijk said.

"Together with the team and the unwavering support of Benjamin, I have achieved my biggest goals over the past two years.

"When discussions around an extension of my contract began last year, we spoke about my seemingly conflicting ambitions - I want to win a medal at the Olympics in 2024, but I would also like to start a family.

"Straight away, the team was open to both scenarios, and that was incredibly heart-warming."

Last year saw van Dijk smash the International Cycling Union hour record in 49.154 kilometres in May before capturing her third career world title with individual time trial gold at the International Cycling Union Road World Championships in September.

The 36-year-old, a seven-time European champion, has represented The Netherlands at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics and is aiming to compete at Paris 2024.

"I definitely have unfinished business with the Olympics," added van Dijk.

"In 2016, I crashed in the time trial and ended in a disappointing fourth place then, I didn’t get selected to go to Tokyo so, together with Benjamin and Josu [Larrazabal, Performance Manager], we have already started to tentatively make a structured plan for my comeback in 2024 and for Paris.

"I haven’t looked beyond that, for the moment.

"We are really looking forward to this big adventure, but of course we have no idea what it’s really going to be like.

"Everything about this pregnancy is new for me, a lot is happening to my body, and I am embracing every change."