Chris Froome will be back in action next month at Saitama Criterium

Egan Bernal to also appear

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Chris Froome will be back in action before the end of 2019, as he takes part in the Saitama Criterium next month.

The four-time winner of the Tour de France will ride the exhibition event alongside his team-mate Egan Bernal, who won the Tour this year.

Froome has been out of competition since June after he suffered devastating injuries in a crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné that left him in intensive care.

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The Brit has been on the long road to recovery after suffering multiple fractures and recently completed short track sessions on the bike.

Froome suffered multiple fractures in the crash, including a broken femur, and was forced to miss the Tour de France, where he planned to chase a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey.

The fall happened during a recon of the time trial stage of the Dauphiné, as Froome crashed at almost 60km/h.

Saitama Criterium will mark a significant step in his return to racing, as he will join other Tour de France stars on the 3.5km circuit through Saitama in Japan on October 27.

The event is a spectacle held by Tour de France organiser, ASO, which often sees racing take a back seat to pre-race activities, as riders don costumes and visit unique attractions in Japan.

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Last year, world champion Alejandro Valverde beat Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas in a sprint on the circuit.

Froome and 2019 Tour winner Bernal will ride the event this year alongside the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné this season.

In this year’s Tour, Bernal became the youngest winner of the yellow jersey and also the first Colombian to win the three-week race.

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