From his hospital bed in France, Chris Froome has reached out to thank his Team Ineos fans and the wider cycling community for the show of support he's received after the Criterium du Dauphine crash that fractured his hip, femur, elbow and neck.
“Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes to me since the crash," Froome said in an article posted on the team's website.
“This is obviously a tough time, but I have taken a lot of strength from the support over the last three days. The outpouring of support has been really humbling and something I would never have expected."
Froome was previewing the stage 4 time trial course in Roanne with teammate Wout Poels when he took his hands off the bars to clear his nose on a 60kph descent. A gust of wind took out his front wheel, according to Team Ineos Principal Dave Brailsford. Froome crashed into the wall of a house, causing the severe injuries. He was taken to hospital in St Etienne, where he underwent an eight-hour surgery to repair his broken bones.
“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the team, especially Doctor Richard Usher and his medical staff, who have been exemplary since the crash," Froome said. "In addition, I am so thankful to the emergency services and everyone at Roanne Hospital who assisted and stabilised me, as well as the surgeons, doctors and nurses at the University Hospital of St Etienne, who have really gone above and beyond the call of duty, for which I am ever so grateful. I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race."
The team reported that Froome will need up to six months recovery, ending his chances to add a fifth tour title to his palmares this year.
“Whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward," Froome said. "There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best.
“Finally, I want to thank my wife Michelle and my family. They’ve been with me every step of the way and their love and support will motivate me to return as quickly as possible.”