Not even a month after the Sky Team leader and last year’s Tour de France winner Chris Froome crashed at the Criterium du Dauphine, the lanky cyclist took another spill just three miles into the roughly 100-mile race from Le Touquet to Lille in the Tour de France Tuesday.
The wipe-out, which occurred at the left edge of the peloton when some wheels touched, left Froome on the pavement with scrapes and bruises that required treatment from the team’s doctor. Froome was almost immediately able to pop back onto his bike, which allowed the treatment to be done while Froome continued in the race.
— Le Tour de France (@letour) July 8, 2014
A part of Froome’s suit was completely shredded on his left haunch, exposing some gnarly-looking road rash that the physician treated with numbing spray and attempted to bandage.
Froome also reopened scrapes that he suffered at Criterium du Daughpine on his elbow, sustained additional skin loss on his right-hand knuckles and finished the stage wearing a wrist splint.
Later, Team Sky released an official statement noting all of Froome’s wounds were superficial and he would keep racing.
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) July 8, 2014
“We were scared out of our wits, like everyone else, but after talking with him, everything seems okay,” said the team’s sports director Nicolas Portal (via The Guardian).”He hit the tarmac hard, but everything’s all right. We gave him a splint and, of course, we’re taking things extra carefully now. I’m not superstitious, but this is one fall we could’ve done without.”
Last year’s yellow jersey winner will have to hope his luck turns around, however, if he plans to get back to the top. Froome finished with the pack and fell two spots overall from fifth place to seventh place in the race’s overall standings. He will also likely be sore going into an uneasy Stage 5 that goes from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut on Wednesday and features several patches of unpaved cobblestone roads. He might not be able to handle another fall there.
Meanwhile, Marcel Kittel of Team Giant-Shimano is having a brilliant race. He finished first in today’s Stage 4 making him the winner of three of the first four stages — a feat last achieved in 1976, according to The Guardian. The overall leader, however, remains Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana Pro Team, whose current time stands at 17 hours 7 minutes 52 seconds.