Froome undergoes eight-hour surgery after horror crash

By Brendan McLoughlin 13 June 2019 20
Froome undergoes eight-hour surgery after horror crash

Chris Froome has undergone eight hours of surgery and remains unconscious following the crash that ruled him out of the Tour de France.

The Team INEOS rider will remain in intensive care for the next 48 to 72 hours after sustaining multiple fractures in a high-speed accident while riding in the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.

"He is at the hospital in St Etienne and had surgery for eight hours," Team INEOS boss Dave Brailsford was quoted as saying by local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere before the start of Thursday's fifth stage.

"He is in intensive care for two or three days. Then we will see when we can send him home.

"The hospital staff in St Etienne were remarkable. The injuries were so serious that he had to undergo surgery as quickly as possible.

"The femur, the elbow, the ribs and the hip. There was a lot of work to do... It was a pretty important operation."

When asked if he had been able to speak with Froome yet, Brailsford said: "No... he's still unconscious."

The four-time Tour de France winner took his hands off his bike's handlebars to blow his nose towards the end of the route recon in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes only to lose control and hit the wall of a house.

Brailsford would not be drawn on what it could mean for Froome's future in the sport.

"I do not think about it," he said. "It's not worth it to project. The important thing for me is to stay focused on the race, for the staff and for the runners. Mentally, it's traumatic for a lot of people in the team."

Team INEOS will look to defending champion Geraint Thomas and Colombian Egan Bernal in Froome's absence for next month's Tour, but Brailsford remained tight-lipped on any tactical decisions.

"We have a team with great riders. Everybody can be in top shape in July. As soon as we are at the start of the Tour we will make decisions," Brailsford said. "You don't set up tactics for July in June."

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Brendan McLoughlin