Rescue workers transport Chris Froome to a hospital after he crashed in France. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP / Getty Images)

Chris Froome, the four-time winner of the Tour de France, will miss next month’s race after he was “badly injured” in a crash during the Criterium du Dauphine in France.

The 34-year-old British cyclist, who rides for Team INEOS, suffered a fractured femur, the team principal said, adding that he was awaiting confirmation on the specific injuries. Dave Brailsford told reporters that Froome and his teammate, Wout Poels, were racing downhill when a gust of wind swept Froome off course during a recon, or pre-ride, before Stage 4 in Roanne.

“He’s had a bad crash actually, it sounds like he was at the foot of the descent,” Brailsford said. “It’s obviously very gusty today, and it sounds like he took his hands off the bars to blow his nose and the wind’s taken his front wheel and he’s hit a wall at 60 kph or something like that.

“He’s got a bad fracture, he’s badly injured and it sounds like he’s got a fractured femur, to be confirmed, he’s not in hospital yet. He’s just going to get airlifted shortly to hospital, Saint-Etienne, maybe Lyon."

Froome’s wife, Michelle, tweeted that she was on her way to join him and ascertain just what injuries he suffered.

Froome, who was hoping to achieve a record-tying fifth victory in the Tour, was eighth overall in the Criterium after three stages of the eight-day race. Froome won the Tour in 2013 with Team Sky, and in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He was favored to win last year after winning the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d’Italia but finished third. His teammate, Geraint Thomas, won.

The Tour de France starts July 6 in Brussels.

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