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Chris Froome's injuries on full display
X-ray shows no broken bones for defending champion
Chris Froome (Team Sky) gave the thumbs up as he left the medical centre after crashing on stage four of the Tour de France. Doctors said that there was no break visible on the x-ray, but a further examination would be needed to confirm that diagnosis.
There were worrying moments for the defending champion, and his team, as he hit the tarmac only four kilometres into the day. The incident happened towards the left of the group, when a rider was forced to swerve and caught the front of Froome's wheel. He jumped up pretty quickly, but could be seen shaking his wrist throughout the remainder of the stage. Belkin leader Bauke Mollema was also involved in the crash.
Froome went to the medical centre, after being patched up by the team's own medical staff. Race doctors said that he had suffered road rash on his left knee and hip, a contusion on his left wrist and a small wound on his right hand. Froome had a small bandage on his wrist, but didn't look like he was in too much discomfort as he made his way back to the team car.
Teammate Geraint Thomas was further up in the middle of the peloton, but heard his leader come crashing to the ground. "We just heard a clattering and stuff. You just kind of think I hope that none of our boys are in it and then you hear on the radio that it's Chris and it's worse case scenario really," Thomas said at the finish. "He was wearing the summer skin suit as well and it rips pretty easily, so it might look worse than it is. Hopefully it does.
"We’re just disappointed, we got through three of the rough days in the UK and the people and narrow roads, and we did that really well. We had that silly little crash after about 4km, it's disappointing, but he still seems to be riding ok so hopefully he'll be ok."
Froome fell on his left-hand side on the sixth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, and injured his knee. The Sky rider struggled with the pain towards the end of the race and had to sit out training for a couple of days afterwards.
Tough day ahead
With the cobbles coming on Wednesday, the crash was about as badly timed as it could be for the 2013 Tour de France champion. Riding over the cobbles is notoriously difficult on the palms of the hands and the wrists, as the riders try to keep the bike under control. Needless to say, the injury could have a big impact on Froome's ability to follow his rivals. The expected rain is also going to through a spanner in the works. Thomas will be the main man for Froome on Wednesday, with his experience on the pavé proving vital. However, he denies that he will take a shot at his own glory tomorrow.
"It's going to be a nightmare. Nobody is looking forward to it, especially if it rains it will be like riding on ice. Especially with some of the corners on the cobbles it will be the last man standing," he explained. "It will all be about Chris and Richie. The big picture is that I could go in a group and maybe get a win, but the main thing is them on GC and not losing any time."