PARIS (Reuters) – Chris Froome underwent surgery for eight hours on broken bones and will stay in intensive care in France for two or three days following a crash at the Dauphine that ruled him out of the Tour de France, Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said on Thursday.
The four-times Tour champion sustained multiple fractures including broken femur, elbow and rib bones when he crashed at high speed while checking the course the Dauphine’s individual time trial on Wednesday.
“He is at the hospital in St Etienne and had surgery for eight hours,” Brailsford was quoted as saying by local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere before the start of Thursday’s fifth stage.
“He is in intensive care for two or three days. Then we will see when we can send him home.
“The hospital staff in St Etienne were remarkable. The injuries were so serious that he had to undergo surgery as quickly as possible.”
Brailsford said he had not talked to Froome because ‘he is still unconscious’.
In his absence, defending champion Geraint Thomas and Colombian Egan Bernal will lead Team Ineos on the Tour, which starts in Brussels on July 6, although the team tactics have yet to be decided on.
“We have a team with great riders. Everybody can be in top shape in July. As soon as we are at the start of the Tour we will make decisions,” Brailsford said.
“You don’t set up tactics for July in June.”
The British outfit have won six of the last seven Tours as Team Sky before being re-launched as Team Ineos earlier this year.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)