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Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome confirmed Friday he has fractures to his hand and wrist.
Froome left the Tour de France during Wednesday’s tough cobbled stage after crashing twice, adding to his fall the day before when he suffered his injuries.
“MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R … ” he said on his Twitter feed.
After falling on Tuesday’s 163.5km fourth stage from Le Touquet to Lille, Froome went back to the medical car and received a splint for his left wrist and bandages for his right hand and left thigh. The next day he started the perilous 152.5km stage from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, which included seven sectors and 13km of slippery cobbles in dreadful wet conditions, with a splint protecting his left wrist. But after the second of his two falls, and visibly in pain, he climbed into a Sky team car and left the race.
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.
— peloton magazine (@pelotonmagazine) July 9, 2014
“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.”
Brailsford suggested after Froome’s withdrawal that he would ride the Vuelta a Espana, which begins Aug. 23.