The sense of unity in the professional peloton is never more evident than when a rider suffers an awful crash on the bike.
Chris Froome’s horrendous injuries suffered in a fall at the Critérium du Dauphiné have bought out the best from pros, with scores of riders sending the Team Ineos leader best wishes for a speedy recovery.
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Both team-mates and rivals have expressed their concern and support for Froome, who is in intensive care after undergoing surgery on Wednesday night (June 12) for multiple fractures he suffered in the crash.
Wout Poels, who now takes over Team Ineos leadership duties at the Dauphiné, said: “It’s never nice to see a team-mate go down, particularly when he’s such a close friend. I hope he can recover quickly. If anyone can, Froomey can.
“It’s really sad for Froomey but I have to switch on again now and make the best of a tough situation.”
Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), due to be Froome’s most dangerous rival at the 2019 Tour de France, said his absence will be a loss for the French Grand Tour.
Dumoulin told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “He has been the man in the Tour for years, everyone looks at him. He was on a mission to win there for the fifth time and he will certainly not succeed this year.
“It’s not going to be that different, because Ineos still has a strong team and they will continue to ride in a controlled way, but it is a big loss.
“Here in the Dauphiné he seemed to be really ready for the Tour.”
British time trial specialist Alex Dowsett saw the aftermath of Froome’s crash while riding the TT course on stage four of the Dauphiné.
The Katusha-Alpecin rider said on Instagram after the stage: “Raced past ambulances on the course at a 70km/h section and heard at the finish it was Chris Froome who’d hit the deck hard.
“Hope he heals as quick as possible, no one wants to see or hear that.
“We’ve all had completely innocuous crashes, you just hope the repercussions aren’t significant. It sounds like Froomey’s are but I’m sure he’ll bounce back.
“A loss to the 2019 Tour de France regardless.”
Froome’s team-mates have also wished the four-time Tour de France winner a speedy recovery.
Michał Kwiakowski, who is also riding the Dauphiné, said: “According’s to Murphy’s law, anything that could go wrong went wrong.
“Get well soon Chris Froome.”
Froome crashed on a rapid downhill section of the TT course during a recon before the stage, when he took his hand off the bars and a gust of wind caught his front wheel and sent him into a wall at almost 60km/h.
He was rushed to hospital where doctors identified multiple fractures including to his right femur, right elbow and ribs.
The 34-year-old underwent surgery at Saint Etienne hospital just hours after the crash and is recovering from the operation in intensive care.
Fellow Brit and Team Ineos rider Tao Geoghegan Hart said: “Absolutely gutted for Chris Froome.
“But if there is one thing we know about Froomey, it’s that he will be back from this.
“July won’t be the same without him that’s for sure.”
Geraint Thomas, who is now expected to take up leadership duties for Ineos at the Tour, said: “Such crap news.
“It’s always horrible hearing about any bad crash, but even worse when it’s a good mate. Heal up quick.”