There won’t a be a record-tying fifth yellow jersey for Chris Froome this year.
Ineos principal Dave Brailsford confirmed to French television that the four-time winner 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.
“He crashed in the downhill section of the course at high speed. He hit a wall,” Brailsford said. “The ambulance came quickly, he’s been taken care of and waits for a helicopter to be transferred to Lyon or Saint-Etienne. 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.”
Details of the crash and the extent of Froome’s injuries remain unconfirmed. They were clearly serious enough for Brailsford to rule Froome out of the Tour, set to start July 6 in Brussels. The British rider was forced to abandon the eight-day Dauphiné tour.
“Team Ineos can confirm that Chris Froome crashed during a recon of stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine today. He is currently on his way to a local hospital and won’t start today’s fourth stage. We will provide a further update in due course,” Ineos said on Twitter.
Team Ineos officials have not confirmed Froome’s condition, but the French sports daily L’Equipe is reporting that Froome may have suffered a fractured femur.
Froome was hoping a strong performance in the Dauphiné would set him up for a chance to win a record-tying fifth yellow jersey.
Last year, Froome crashed ahead of the opening time trial in Jerusalem at the Giro d’Italia, but stayed in the race and eventually won.
Check back to VeloNews for more details in developing story.