Froome out of Tour de France after training crash

Team Ineos staff check over Chris Froome's helmet

Team Ineos staff check over Chris Froome's helmet

Froome, 34, was taken to a local hospital after hitting a wall during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France, with team doctor Richard Usher confirming he also suffered a broken elbow.

But Froome's team principal Brailsford's somber tone suggested the implications may go further.

Ineos principal Dave Brailsford confirmed to French television that the four-time victor will not start the Tour next month following a harrowing, high-speed crash during a training ride ahead of the fourth stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Brailsford said Froome had been speeding downhill with Dutch teammate Wout Poels on a "recon" ride for Wednesday's time-trial when a gust of wind blew him off track, making him hit a wall.

Froome's Twitter account later confirmed he was undergoing surgery to fix "multiple fractures".

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"On behalf of the team, I would like to commend the treatment he received from the emergency services and all at Roanne Hospital in assessing and stabilizing him", he said.

"It's a very serious accident. He'll be helicoptered to either Lyon or Saint-Etienne hospital within a few minutes", said Brailsford. Clearly, he won't be at the start of the Tour de France. "We're trying to make sure that he's got the best care. In..."

"His withdrawal changes the whole thing".

Froome was believed to be using the eight-day race as preparation for the Tour but reports suggest he has fractured his femur. Early in the 2019 season Froome took part in the Tour of Colombia, but the rarefied air at altitude and the long climbs failed to suit him and he came 91st in the run through the Andes. Froome won the Dauphine before his Tour wins in 2013, '15 and '16.

With Thomas expected to race at the Tour de Suisse next week and Egan Bernal on the road to recovery after an injury that ruled him out of the Giro d'Italia, Froome faced some serious competition for the lead role at Ineos in this year's Tour de France.

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