Despite the anti-doping case currently hanging over him, Chris Froome has been moving through the gears in his pre-season training in South Africa but suffered a crash on Thursday, leaving him with some road rash.
The Team Sky rider has been racking up the kilometres since the turn of the year, but fell during a long ride on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Froome posted a photo on his Instagram account after the ride, showing abrasions to his left elbow and hip.
Team Sky confirmed that he had crashed, but said he came away with no injuries beyond road rash. His training schedule will not be affected.
Froome is currently in limbo as he prepares to try and prove to the anti-doping authorities that he didn't exceed the permitted dosages for salbutamol, after twice the legal limit of the asthma drug was found in his urine in a test at the 2017 Vuelta a España.
As salbutamol is a 'specified' substance on WADA's prohibited list, the Tour de France and Vuelta winner has not been provisionally suspended, and news of the case only emerged thanks to newspaper reports in the Guardian and Le Monde.
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- Timeline of Chris Froome's adverse analytical finding for salbutamol
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For Froome, it was business as usual while the affair was under wraps, as he announced his plans to target both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year. Now, with fellow pros and experts from various fields weighing in on the intricacies of his case, he is preparing as normal for the season ahead, despite the prospect of a ban that could wipe out a chunk - if not all - of it.
Froome has racked up 2,000 kilometres since arriving in South Africa after Christmas. He has ridden every day so far in January, hitting 150km on all but two outings.
There was no sign of a hangover on New Year's Day as he covered 157km in an interval session. The following day he clocked 200km, switching between his road, time trial, and mountain bikes. There have been just two recovery rides out of the 11 days of riding this year, and he has made a habit of heading out early in the mornings.
His longest ride came on January 7 when he rode 224.5km at an average speed of a shade under 38km/h - in the region of the speed at which Tour de France stages of similar length could be expected to be completed.
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