After injuries that meant he had to learn to walk again, Froome says fans need to manage expectations

The Israel-Premier Tech rider is cycling pain-free for the first time since his 2019 crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné, something he says people should remember

Chris Froome
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome has said people should not forget about the severity of the injuries he suffered at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June 2019, and said now is the first time he is riding pain-free since that incident. 

Froome crashed while on a recon ride of a time-trial at that race, suffering a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs. Since then, he has largely struggled for form.

Speaking before the start of the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Monday, Froome indicated he is riding without these injuries holding him back anymore, though he is still managing expectations. 

At 37-years-old, and having suffered such severe injuries as he did, the Israel-Premier Tech rider suggested it isn't as simple as just riding again and rediscovering the form that helped him win seven Grand Tours. 

"It’s understandable that people have got these expectations given what I’ve achieved in my career, but, at the same time, I think people need to remember where I’m coming from, these last three years, is a completely different place," Froome explained.

"At this this race three years ago I almost lost my life. I couldn’t straighten my leg or put weight on my leg for the best part of four or five months. That was a huge rehabilitation. I broke my leg in two places. To come back from something like that isn’t guaranteed. It’s a step-by-step process.

"The first step is learning to walk again, then it was getting onto a bike and riding a bike again. Then it’s maybe trying to get back to being in a racing peloton. Now it’s trying to take that next step to become more competitive at this level and that’s where I’m at currently."

Replicating his 2013, 2015 and 2016 wins at the Dauphiné is unlikely this year, but there are promising signs of progress for Froome. 

He achieved his best result since the 2019 accident last Tuesday, finishing 11th at the Mercan Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes. Perhaps signalling somewhat of a turning point in the twilight of his career, the Briton is scheduled to ride next week at the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge ahead of a possible Tour de France appearance in July. 

Froome confirms 2022 has provided signs of positivity, too. Highlighting this season as the first he is riding since the crash without any pain, his focus is now on making incremental improvements week by week. 

"This is the first time, really, in the last three years that I’ve been fully niggle-free, issue free," Froome said. "I haven’t had any pain, I haven’t had any discomfort, the left-right leg balance is in place.

"Basically, it’s just been an uninterrupted period since January until now of being able to work consistently and move things in the right direction. I’m seeing the results of that."

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.