Chris Froome encountered the first setback in his bid for the Giro d'Italia title before the race had even begun, as the Team Sky rider crashed while carrying out a recon of the opening-day time trial course on Friday.
Froome appeared to suffer abrasions on the right hand side of his body, with a cut on his knee, ripped shorts at the hip, and ripped jersey near the shoulder blade.
He got back to his feet and rode back to the Team Sky bus, where he is being examined by the team doctors.
Team Sky told Cyclingnews that Froome is fine, and that there is no significant damage or cause for concern. A full update will be issued later today.
The Giro d'Italia gets underway today with a 9.9km time trial in Jerusalem. For Froome it represents an early chance to gain time on his rivals for the pink jersey.
"It's very important. I mean, it’s a short time trial, I think we could see gaps of up to 20 or 30 seconds between the main contenders, especially on such a technical, tough circuit, up and down. We’re going to see big differences tomorrow, especially with the heat also," Froome said in his pre-race press conference on Thursday.
Froome's results have been relatively anonymous this year - at least by the standards of a four-time Tour de France champion - but he appeared confident when discussing the start of the 101st Giro, which features three stages in hot conditions in Israel.
"I prefer when it’s hot, 100 per cent," he said. "We’ll see how the wind is during the stages. If there’s wind, everybody will know it. I’m not afraid of it. Stages with crosswinds are part of a Grand Tour."
As for the question marks surrounding his form, "We’ll see. I felt better already at the Tour of the Alps, and I think I improved a bit more in the last two stages."
Cyclingnews' full live coverage of the Giro d'Italia's stage 1 time trial is now underway here.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.