British cyclist Chris Froome is in serious condition and described as being “not in great shape” after undergoing surgery for multiple fractures he sustained in a freak crash Wednesday in France.
The four-time Tour de France winner had taken his hand off the handlebar of his bike to blow his nose and was riding at roughly 33 mph in preparation for the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France, when a strong gust of wind caused him to collide with a wall. He was competing in the race to prepare for the Tour de France, which begins July 6 in Brussels.
“He’s been operated on to make sure that first phase of medical care is as optimal as possible and we will manage it from there. It’s an evolving situation. It is concerning, there is no doubt about that,” Team INEOS principal Dave Brailsford told Radio 5 Live’s BeSpoke podcast. “He’s not in great shape.
“There are crashes and bad crashes and this was a bad crash.”
Froome, who was unconscious after the crash, fractured his right femur, hip, elbow and ribs and was airlifted to Saint-Etienne University Hospital, where he is in intensive care.
The 34-year-old cyclist, who was hoping to win a record-tying fifth Tour de France next month, was riding with INEOS teammate Wout Poels when he crashed.
“He came down a technical descent and on to a straighter piece of road with houses either side,” Brailsford said. “He signaled to Wout that he was going to clear his nose, he took his hand off the bar to do that and a gust of wind took his front wheel, he lost control and went straight into the wall of a house.
“We have had a look at his data, he went from 54 kilometers per hour to a dead stop.”
Froome was eighth overall in the Criterium after three stages of the eight-day race. He will miss the Tour now, of course, after winning it in 2013 with Team Sky, and in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He was favored to win last year after winning the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d’Italia but finished third. His teammate, Geraint Thomas, won.
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