With the Tour de France getting underway in Brussels today, four-time champion Chris Froome has been discharged from hospital three weeks after his major crash at the Criterium du Dauphine.
Froome was undergoing a reconnaissance ride around Roanne in central France ahead of a time trial when he took one hand off his handlebars and lost his front wheel in a gust of wind, slamming into a wall at more than 50kph. The rider suffered fractures to his femur, ribs, elbow and neck.
He was stabilised by an ambulance at the scene before being airlifted to hospital, and has been treated at a specialist unit in St Etienne.
Bernal to shine at Tour de France
Speaking ahead of the start of the TDF, Froome’s general manager at Team Ineos, Sir Dave Brailsford, said the injured rider left hospital earlier this week.
“He left hospital [on Thursday] and was transferred home,” Brailsford said. “It’s a big step for him. He’s managed to put his feet on the floor for the first time in quite a long time.
“A few of the guys here have been to visit him and he’s in remarkable spirits for the situation he’s found himself in.”
Geraint Thomas, who won the Tour last year, and the 22-year-old Egan Bernal, who won the recent Tour de Suisse, will co-lead Ineos in Froome’s absence as they aim to win their first Grand Tour since Sky withdrew sponsorship of the British team.