Chris Froome will miss the Tour de France after hitting a wall and suffering severe injuries in a training accident at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday, Team Ineos leader Dave Brailsford has confirmed.
“It’s clear he’ll take no part in the Tour,” Brailsford told French television while four time Tour de France winner Froome was being treated at the scene in a parked ambulance.
“He is in a very, very serious condition,” said Brailsford, adding that the racer was having difficulty speaking and would be helicoptered to hospital.
A witness at the scene of the accident said Froome had suffered an open fracture of the femur and had suffered other injuries too, notably to his elbows.
Brailsford said Froome had been speeding downhill with teammate Wout Poels when a gust of wind blew him off track, making him hit a wall.
“They were going very fast and the wind got his front wheel and sent him straight into the wall,” Brailsford said in French.
“He’s in a very, very serious condition and he could hardly speak. He’ll be helicoptered to either Lyon or Saint-Etienne hospital within a few minutes,” said the Welshman.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was swift to wish Froome a speedy recovery.
“We hope he gets well soon. 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.
The Kenyan born Froome, who combines top level time-trialing skills with a fearsome prowess for climbing, first won the Tour in 2013 with Team Sky.
He went on to further Tour de France wins in 2015, 2016 and 2017, he also won the 2017 Vuelta a Espana and the 2018 Giro d’Italia, making him the greatest Grand Tour rider of his generation. (Agence France-Presse)