Froome back in saddle, set to race Saitama Criterium

Chris Froome continues on his comeback trail as he rides on open roads for first time since June crash. He is set to race Japan's Saitama Criterium at the end of October.

While many in the peloton were slogging through the Yorkshire world championship on Sunday, Chris Froome (Ineos) posted a selfie on France’s sunny Cote d’Azur.

The photograph was significant in that it marks the first time the four-time Tour de France winner has been able to ride on the open road since his career-threatening crash in June. The Twitter post was simple enough — “Good to be back on the road again” — but it marks an important milestone for the 34-year-old.

Recovery seems to be going well enough, so much so that he is scheduled to participate in the Saitama Criterium in Japan on October 27.

The race will also see Froome’s teammate and Tour de France winner, Egan Bernal, participate. The exhibition race is not unlike the post-Tour criteriums in Belgium and The Netherlands, and is known to produce entertaining—if not so serious—battles between the stars of the Tour de France. Last year, world champion Alejandro Valverde out sprinted Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.

Froome won the 2013 edition of the criterium after holding off Peter Sagan.

Team Ineos has not announced Froome’s timeline for returning to high-level professional racing.

Froome’s been out of action since a heavy crash in mid-June during a preview of the time trial stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He hit a retaining wall, and suffered a series of serious injuries, including fractures to his femur, elbow, back and chest.

Months of rehab kept him out of the Tour de France, opening the door for teammate Egan Bernal to become the first Colombian to win the yellow jersey.

In a recent interview, Froome expressed confidence he will be able to return to elite racing in time to try to win a fifth yellow jersey next summer at the Tour.