August 22, 2019
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Froome remains in intensive care after high-speed crash

 British rider Chris Froome of Team Ineos before the start of the Tour de Yorkshire first stage, over 182.5 km between Doncaster and Selby, Britain, May 2, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/PETER POWELL

British rider Chris Froome of Team Ineos before the start of the Tour de Yorkshire first stage, over 182.5 km between Doncaster and Selby, Britain, May 2, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/PETER POWELL

Madrid, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome remained in the intensive care unit of a hospital in the French city of Saint-Etienne on Thursday after he underwent surgery, his team and family said.

Froome took a hand off his handlebars to blow his nose when a gust of wind caught his front wheel, causing him to hit a wall at speed, fracturing his right femur bone, hip, an elbow and several ribs during a reconnaissance ride of a stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race.

“He had surgery to repair his femur, his hip, his elbow. He’s got broken ribs, a little bit of internal damage as well, so he’s staying in intensive care for the next couple of days and then we’ll go from there,” his team principal Dave Brailsford said in Boen-sur-Lignon before stage 5 of the Dauphine on Thursday.

The 34-year-old British rider had been accompanied to the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne by his wife, Michelle, and the Team Ineos doctor, Richard Usher.

"Chris is in surgery at the moment to repair the multiple fractures, please keep him in your thoughts," his wife wrote on the rider's Twitter account.

Froome has been ruled out of this year's Tour de France, which starts on July 6.

"It is a very serious accident. Clearly, he will not be at the start of the Tour de France," Brailsford said Wednesday. "It will take quite a long time before he races again," he added.

"It’s always horrible hearing about any bad crash, but even worse when it’s a good mate," said 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, adding "Heal up quick."

Froome was crowned the winner of the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Tours, won Vuelta a España title in 2017 and clinched his first Giro d'Italia title in 2018, the first Brit to win the Italian road race.

He has also won three trophies in the Dauphine (2013, 2015 and 2016).

Brailsford said it was too soon to estimate when Froome’s rehabilitation could begin.

“First things first," the Team Ineos principal said. "For now, let’s just concentrate on today and getting him through today, and then tomorrow, etc., and see how this situation develops from there,” Brailsford added.

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