Sky rider Chris Froome confirmed Wednesday that he abandoned stage 5 of the Tour de France with fractures to both his left wrist and right hand.
The 2013 Tour champion crashed on his left side on stage 4, and after inconclusive x-rays that evening, started stage 5 wearing a brace on his left wrist. He then crashed twice in the rain on stage 5, abandoning the race after his second crash, and before reaching the first of seven wet, treacherous cobblestone sections.
“MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R…” Froome wrote on Twitter Friday.
After Froome’s first fall on Tuesday, Sky team manager Dave Brailsford had said he was “relieved” and described the Kenyan-born rider’s injuries as “superficial.”
But Sky said Friday they had nonetheless carried out further tests at Froome’s home in Monaco.
“We made it a matter of priority for Chris to have a thorough investigation into the injuries he sustained as initial scans from the race doctor on stage four couldn’t confirm any fractures,” Sky’s doctor Alan Farrell said. “Under our instruction, Chris was examined by a specialist at the Monaco Institute of Sport. The process involved MRI scans which have shown today that Chris suffered a small fracture to one of the bones in his left wrist. The investigations also revealed a small fracture to a bone in Chris’s right hand, which hadn’t caused him any undue pain over the two stages.”
Some reports on Tuesday had claimed Froome, 29, hadn’t broken anything and when he gave up on Wednesday there were voices claiming he’d been beaten mentally rather than physically. But Farrell said that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The fact Chris hadn’t felt discomfort in his right hand shows how tough he is, and the pain threshold he has,” said Farrell. “Chris has been incredibly brave throughout this whole process and clearly did not take the decision to withdraw from the Tour de France lightly. Thankfully, his injuries won’t be keeping him off the bike for too long and we expect him to return to training in the next few weeks.”
Team manager Dave Brailsford speculated on Thursday that Froome could return to racing for the Vuelta a España, which begins August 23.