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Froome's season looks all but over after suffering horrific crash

 

Major blow: Chris Froome had to undergo surgery after accident
Major blow: Chris Froome had to undergo surgery after accident

By Ed Elliott

Blood spatter on the pavement is the only remaining evidence at the scene of the high-speed crash which left Chris Froome's Tour de France hopes in tatters.

Four-time Tour champion Froome suffered catastrophic injuries, including a broken femur, broken hip and multiple fractured ribs, when he clattered into a wall at around 33mph during a descent through Saint-Andre-d'Apchon on Wednesday.

Froome has many months of recovery ahead of him.

He remains in hospital in nearby St Etienne after undergoing extensive surgery. He seems certain not to race again this season but could still end it with a seventh Grand Tour title.

As he awoke from a six-hour operation, news broke that 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Jose Cobo has been found guilty of a doping offence.

That could elevate the Briton to a second Vuelta win.

It seems like scant consolation at the end of a devastating week, but his case has already been championed by race director Javier Guillen.

"If the first place has been caught cheating, the victory should fall to the one who finished second," Guillen said.

Froome had been travelling down Rue Pierre Durantet. The street is long, sloped, and straight with homes and businesses on either side.

Alongside Ineos team-mate Wout Poels, he had been on a reconnaissance mission ahead of the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine. The race was being used as part of his build-up to this year's Tour de France, which starts on July 6.

According to police, a number of people witnessed the smash, which left Froome crumpled at the foot of a small, yellow-brick wall outside a large detached house. A member of the Gendarmerie said the property owner had been absent at the time of the incident. That remained the case yesterday.

Officers also backed up the suggestion that wind had been a significant factor in the incident, while saying they had taken possession of Froome's bike.

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