Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Chris Froome 'not in great shape' as he recovers from surgery in intensive care after high-speed crash

Four-time Tour de France winner suffered a fractured his pelvis, right femur, broken ribs and a broken right elbow following a crash in central France on Wednesday

British rider Chris Froome is in intensive care at a hospital in Saint-Etienne, France, following a high speed crash in central France on Wednesday. EPA
British rider Chris Froome is in intensive care at a hospital in Saint-Etienne, France, following a high speed crash in central France on Wednesday. EPA

Chris Froome, the four-time winner of the Tour de France, was recovering in intensive care Thursday after undergoing surgery for multiple fractures after slamming into a wall at high speed.

The 34-year-old Briton suffered a fractured his pelvis, right femur, broken ribs and a broken right elbow following a crash during practice ahead of the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race in central France on Wednesday.

"He's not in great shape. There are crashes and bad crashes and this was a bad crash," said his Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford.

Brailsford said the initial surgery had gone well and that Kenyan-born Froome will remain in hospital in Saint-Etienne "for at least two days" before a decision is taken on whether further treatment is required.

Froome's injuries have ruled him out of next month's Tour de France, Brailsford said, and the focus was now on recovery after the horror crash which happened on a downhill stretch of road in the Loire region.

Froome was riding with Dutch teammate Wout Poels when he lost control of his bike and slammed into the wall of a house at full speed.

"We have had a look at his data, he went from 54km/h to a dead stop," Brailsford said.

The accident happened in the village of Saint-Andre d'Apchon. According to Brailsford, Froome had taken his hands off the handlebars in order to blow his nose "and the wind's taken his front wheel and he's hit a wall".

Following treatment on site Froome was airlifted to intensive care at Saint-Etienne hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

Froome's wife Michelle Cound tweeted that she was on her way to join him there and asked fans to keep the rider "in your thoughts".

Brailsford said that Froome had worked "incredibly hard to get in fantastic shape and had been on track for the Tour" which starts on July 6 from Brussels. The Criterium du Dauphine represents a full dress rehearsal and Froome was doing well, in eighth spot before the crash.

Late Wednesday, Brailsford said Froome had the mental force needed in the battle for recovery that lay ahead.

"One of the things which sets Chris apart is his mental strength and resilience - and we will support him totally in his recovery, help him to recalibrate and assist him in pursuing his future goals and ambitions."

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said Froome's absence was a blow to the 2019 edition of cycling's biggest stage race.

"The Tour de France won't be the same without him. Chris Froome has been the central character at the Tour since 2013," he said.

"His withdrawal changes the whole thing. Even if they have the title holder Geraint Thomas and let's not be lured into underestimating Egan Bernal, who will be his lieutenant or possibly more," Prudhomme said of Froome's two Ineos teammates.

Updated: June 13, 2019 02:53 PM

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