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Chris Froome has surgery, in intensive care after a rapid crash

Saint-Étienne: Chris Froome, four-time winner of the Tour de France, has undergone surgery and was in intensive care every day on Thursday after he hit a wall at high speed and had multiple fractures.

The force of the collision during the training prior to the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race in central France broke his pelvis, right femur and left him with broken ribs and a broken right elbow.

"He is not in top form, there are crashes and bad crashes and this was a bad crash," said Dave Brailsford, his team at Ineos.

He said the 34-year-old Briton had undergone a first surgical procedure that went well and "will stay in the hospital in Saint-Etienne for at least two days" before a decision on further treatment, possibly at home in Britain, is made .

Brailsford said Froome had no hope of participating in the Tour de France next month and his full focus was now on recovery after the horror crash that occurred on a downhill stretch in the Loire region.

Froome rode with Dutch teammate Wout Poels when he lost control of his bike and hit the wall of a house at full speed.

"We looked at his data, he went from 54 km / h to a dead stop," said Brailsford.

The accident happened in the village of Saint-Andre d & # 39; Apchon. Froome had taken his hands off the wheel to blow his nose & # 39; and the wind took his front wheel and hit a wall, & # 39; Brailsford added.

After treatment on site, Froome was taken to the intensive care unit in the Saint-Etienne hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

Froome & # 39; s wife Michelle Cound tweeted that she was on her way to join him there and asked fans to keep the rider "in your mind".

Brailsford said that Froome "had worked incredibly hard to get into a fantastic condition and was on the right track for the Tour", which starts on July 6 from Brussels. The Criterium du Dauphine represents a full dress rehearsal and Froome did well, in eighth place before the crash.

Late on Wednesday, Brailsford said Froome had the mental strength needed in the fight for recovery ahead of him.

"One of the things that sets Chris apart is his mental strength and resilience – and we will fully support him in his recovery, help him recalibrate him and help him pursue his future goals and ambitions."

BIG LOSS FOR TOUR

The director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, said that the absence of Froome was a blow to the 2019 edition of the biggest stage race of cycling.

"The Tour de France will no longer be the same without him. Chris Froome has been the central character of the Tour since 2013," he said.

"His withdrawal changes the whole thing. Even if they have the title holder Geraint Thomas and let's not underestimate Evang Bernal, who will be his lieutenant or possibly more," said Prudhomme about Froome's two Ineos teammates.

French climber Romain Bardet, who came second for Froome during the Tour de France 2016, described the news about the severity of his colleague's injuries as "terrible."

"I didn't know it was that serious," Bardet said.

"It's never nice if one of your rivals gets bad luck like that."

Froome had started the year in a low-key finish. He finished 91st in the Tour of Colombia, 94th in the Tour of Catalonia, 11th in the Alps and 13th in the Tour de Yorkshire, leaving critics lukewarm about his chances of the Tour de France in 2019.

Froome from Kenya, who combines top time rhythm skills with a strong ability to climb at best, won the Tour first in 2013 with Team Sky.

He went on to win the Tour de France in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He also won the Vuelta a Espana 2017 and the Giro d & # 39; Italia 2018, making him the greatest Grand Tour driver of his generation.

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