Froome out of Tour de France after crash in Criterium

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FILE PHOTO: Cyclist Chris Froome attends a news conference to unveil the itinerary of the 2019 Tour de France cycling race in Paris, France, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

(Reuters) – Britain’s four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome will not start next month’s race after sustaining a “bad fracture” following a heavy crash in the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday, Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said.

Froome, 34, was taken to a local hospital after hitting a wall at high speed during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France, with Brailsford suspecting he might have broken his thigh bone.

“It’s a very serious accident. Clearly, he won’t be at the start of the Tour de France. It’ll take quite a long time before he races again,” Brailsford told French television.

“He’s badly injured… it sounds like a fracture of the femur. We’re trying to manage that and make sure he gets the best care. The next hour, hour and a half is crucial.

“He crashed in the downhill section of the course at high speed. He hit a wall. The ambulance came quickly, he’s been taken care of and is waiting for a helicopter to be transferred to Lyon or Saint-Etienne.”

Froome’s wife Michelle later tweeted from her husband’s account that he was on his way to hospital and his injuries were yet to be confirmed.

“I am awaiting information and transport to get to where he is and as soon as we have any information we will update you.”

Six-times Grand Tour winner Froome was competing in the Criterium du Dauphine to prepare for the Tour de France, which begins on July 6.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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