Chris Froome concedes the defence of his Tour de France title has taken a turn for the worst after an early crash on stage four but he’s vowing to fight on in search of successive titles.
Froome went down hard on his left-hand side a matter of kilometers into the Tour’s first French stage after millions turned out to watch the opening three in his native Britain.
He got caught in the aftermath of a touch of wheels in front of him but immediately gathered himself and rejoined the peloton before ending the fourth stage seventh in the general classification.
Froome is still only two seconds shy of Vincenzo Nibali, who retained the yellow jersey after German sprinter Marcel Kittel impressively took his third stage victory of this year’s Tour.
Defending champion Froome fell just two places overall after the stage and underwent an x-ray in Lille with his wrist taking the brunt of the damage from the early fall.
The 29-year-old’s fall is the second incident involving a Brit after Mark Cavendish was ruled out injured after a crash on the sprint to the line during the opening stage from Leeds to Harrogate.
A 155.5km cobbled stage five will prove a stern test for the Team Sky rider but Froome insists he will carry on as normal and with the minimal amount of fuss.
“I took a bit of a knock but I’m happy to make it through the day and get to the finish line without losing any time to my main competitors,” said Froome.
“The bumps and scrapes are fine but I fell heavily on my wrist so I needed to get it checked out by the doctors. I’m really pleased that I’ve been cleared to race and I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike.
“The wrist is painful and it’s certainly not ideal going into a cobbled stage but I have a great team around me and we’ll get through the next few days as best we can.
“One of the riders in front of me overlapped the wheel of another rider and caught my front wheel. I didn’t have time to react and I before I knew it I was on the ground. But that’s bike racing and I’m pleased I’ll be back on the race.”
© Sportsbeat 2014