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Froome out of Tour de France after ‘very serious’ crash

Chris Froome

Britain’s four-time champion Chris Froome has been ruled out of the Tour de France after a “very serious” crash.

Team Ineos rider Froome, 34, was taken to hospital with a reported broken femur after crashing before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.

“He crashed in the downhill section of the course at high speed. He hit a wall,” team principal Dave Brailsford told France Televisions. “It’ll take quite a long time before he races again.”

The incident took place during a practice ride on Wednesday’s 26.1km time-trial course in Roanne, France.

Brailsford said: “The ambulance came quickly. He’s been taken care of and waits for a helicopter to be transferred to Lyon or Saint-Etienne.

“It’s a very serious accident. Clearly, he won’t be at the start of the Tour de France.”

Speaking to Cyclingnews, Brailsford added: “It sounds like he was at the foot of the descent, and it’s obviously very gusty today, and he took his hands off the bars to blow his nose and the wind has taken his front wheel.

“He’s hit a wall at 60kmph or something like that, he’s got a bad fracture, he’s badly injured and it sounds like he has a fracture of the femur, to be confirmed.”

Froome was eighth overall in the Criterium after three stages of the eight-day race.

He would have been chasing a record-equalling fifth victory in the Tour, which starts in Brussels on 6 July.

Froome went into last year’s race as favourite, holding all three Grand Tour titles, having won the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d’Italia.

He finished third as team-mate Geraint Thomas became the third Briton to win the race.

Analysis

Tom Fordyce, chief sports writer

Froome has been the dominant stage racer of his generation, his accident coming at a time when he was bookmakers’ favourite to win back the Tour de France yellow jersey that he ceded to team-mate Geraint Thomas a year ago.

His entire year had been focused on three weeks in France in July, his determination to win a record-equalling fifth title obvious when BBC Sport’s BeSpoke podcast went out to visit his training camp in Tenerife two months ago.

Ordinarily riders get up and race almost as soon as they crash. When their injuries are severe they immediately focus on a comeback race; cycling is a sport that waits for no champion.

But if Froome’s injury is as bad as early reports indicate, not only the Tour but also the Vuelta a Espana in August and September’s World Championships in Yorkshire must also be in significant doubt.

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BBC Sport – Cycling

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