SAINT-ETIENNE • Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has undergone a successful four-hour operation following a devastating crash and could be back racing in six months, his surgeon said yesterday.
Froome was airlifted to a hospital in Saint-Etienne for emergency surgery after slamming into a wall at high speed during practice on Wednesday ahead of Stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine race in France.
The impact fractured his pelvis, right femur, and left him with broken ribs and a broken right elbow.
"The operation was long, almost four hours, but it went very, very well," said Remi Philippot, chief surgeon for sports trauma at the hospital.
He said the good news was that the high-impact crash had caused no neurological or head trauma and he expected Froome would be back in the saddle in six months.
"The impact was at around 50 kmh, with very little body protection, causing a high-energy impact," said Philippot, who spoke to Froome yesterday.
"Chris Froome has the morale of a winner and is very rapidly bouncing back. He started asking immediately when he could get back on his bike," added the surgeon.
Froome, 34, was on a downhill stretch with Dutchman Wout Poels when he took his hands off the handlebars to blow his nose, lost control and slammed into the wall of a house in the village of Saint-Andre d'Apchon.
Froome's Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford said: "One of the things which sets Chris apart is his mental strength and resilience - and we will support him totally in his recovery."