Chris Froome to miss Tour de France after suffering multiple injuries in crash
Four-time Tour winner crashed while doing time-trial reconnaissance
Chris Froome will miss the Tour de France after a fall during the Criterium du Dauphine. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty
Chris Froome’s bid for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title was derailed on Wednesday when he crashed hard at the Critérium du Dauphiné and suffered what his team called ‘multiple serious injuries’. Froome was doing a reconnaissance ride on the course prior to the stage four time-trial and fell at high speed.
“He’s had a bad crash,” Team Ineos Principal Dave Brailsford told reporters at the race. “It sounds like he was at the foot of the descent . . . It’s obviously very gusty today, and he took his hand off the bars to blow his nose and the wind has taken [out] his front wheel. He hit a wall at 60 km/h or something like that.”
Team doctor Richard Usher later detailed the extent of the damage. “Chris was taken to Roanne Hospital where initial examinations confirmed multiple injuries, most notably a fractured right femur and right elbow. He has also suffered fractured ribs. He is now being airlifted to St Etienne University Hospital for further treatment.”
Froome won the Tour de France in 2013 but crashed out the following year. He returned to take the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions. Last season he was fatigued after winning the Giro d’Italia and had to settle for third in Paris behind teammate Geraint Thomas.
Brailsford said that the team’s main focus now was to ensure that Froome received the best possible care. “Chris had worked incredibly hard to get in fantastic shape and was on track for the Tour, which unfortunately he will now miss.
“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.”
Meanwhile Dan Martin put in a solid time trial on day four of the event, finishing 20th in the race against the clock in Roanne. The Irish UAE Team Emirates rider covered the 26.1 kilometre distance in a time one minute 38 seconds off that of the winner Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), who beat American Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) by 31 seconds.
Martin is not a time-trial specialist and his performance was consequently an encouraging one for him in relation to building up for next month’s Tour de France.
British rider Adam Yates finished a decent sixth in the test, 56 seconds behind Van Aert, and jumped nine places overall to take the race lead. He is now four seconds clear of the previous yellow jersey Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), with Van Garderen a further two seconds back.
Martin climbs four places to 13th overall, one minute 13 seconds in arrears. Fellow Irishman Sam Bennett was 117th in the time-trial, saving his strength for what should be another bunch sprint on Thursday. Bennett won the big gallop to the line on Tuesday and is seeking a second stage win in the race.
The general classification contenders will then move to the fore between Friday and Sunday, with Martin and others keen to test their form in the mountains three weeks before the start of the Tour de France.
CRITÉRIUM DU DAUPHINÉ
Stage four, Roanne time-trial: 1 Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 26.1 kilometres in 33 mins 38 secs, 2 T Van Garderen (EF Education First) at 31 secs, 3 T Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 47 secs , 4 S Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 49 secs, 5 E Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 51 secs, 6 A Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at 56 secs.
Irish: 20 D Martin (UAE Team Emirates) at 1 min 38 secs; 117 S Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 4 mins 40 secs.
General Classification: 1 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 12 hours 27 mins 26 secs, 2 D Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) at 4 secs, 3 T Van Garderen (EF Education First) at 6 secs, 4 J Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) at 7 secs, 5 S Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 24 secs, 6 T Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) at 25 secs.
Irish: 13 D Martin (UAE Team Emirates) at 1 min 13 secs; 111 S Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 30 mins 25 secs.
Points Classification: 1 Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 57 pts, 2 E Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) 39, 3 A Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) 38.
Irish: 6 S Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 25.
Mountains Classification: 1 Casper Pedersen (Team Sunweb) 18 pts, 2 M Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 13, 3 J Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 12.
Young Riders Classification: 1 Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 12 hours 27 mins 56 secs, 2 N Politt (Katusha-Alpecin 1 min 14 secs, 3 B Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal) at 2 mins 15 secs.