Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has suffered a major crash resulting in multiple fractures and will miss this year’s race.
- Chris Froome was racing in the Criterium du Dauphine, a key warm-up race for the Tour de France
- The British rider was undergoing surgery to repair “multiple fractures”
- Froome had a fifth Tour de France in his sights
Team INEOS leader Dave Brailsford said Froome sustained a suspected fractured femur in a “bad” 60kph crash.
“It sound like he was at the foot of the descent, it’s obviously very gusty today and it sounds like he’s taken his hand off his bars to blow his nose and the wind has taken his front wheel,” he said.
“He’s hit a wall at 60 kilometres [per hour] or something like that.
“He’s got a bad fracture, he’s badly injured, it sounds like he’s fractured a femur.”
The British rider was being airlifted to hospital, Brailsford said at the Criterium du Dauphine race in south-eastern France.
Froome’s Twitter account later confirmed he was undergoing surgery to repair “multiple fractures”.
The three-time Dauphine winner was practising on the route of the 26-kilometre fourth stage of the eight-day Dauphine race, which would have been the 34-year-old rider’s first time-trial test this season.
Froome was treated by medical staff from a race ambulance that was near the scene of the crash, Brailsford said.
Seeking a fourth win in the key preparation race, Froome was eighth in the Dauphine standings, 24 seconds behind leader Dylan Teuns of Belgium.
Froome won the Dauphine before his Tour wins in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He also won the 2017 Tour.
The three-week Tour de France starts on July 6.
Froome’s teammate Geraint Thomas is the defending champion after the Welshman held off Froome and Tom Dumoulin to claim his first title last year.
Last year, Froome struggled through the Tour after winning the Giro d’Italia, crashing in the early stages and was later tackled off his bike by police after the 17th stage.