'Being a professional cyclist again seemed so far away': Chris Froome opens up about recovery from horror crash

Froome says he has "no fear" about return to racing

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome has opened up about his doubts during rehab saying, "thinking about being a professional cyclist again seemed so far away.”

Quoted in The Times, Froome spoke about his recovery from his horror crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné where he suffered six different fractures after stage two of the UAE Tour as he continues preparation for the Tour de France.

Speaking after the Hatta Dam stage where Froome finished 111th, 3-46 behind winner Caleb Ewan, the seven-time Grand Tour winner explained his doubts about getting back into the peloton when he was teaching himself to walk again.

"Trying to walk was by far the hardest part of the rehab," said Froome, who was left immobile for two months with broken ribs, hip, elbow, femur and fractured neck.

“It’s just something you don’t think about until you’re in that position. After the weeks of being bedridden and in a wheelchair afterwards, walking felt so foreign. Mentally, it was tough. Being barely able to walk."

>>> Why Chris Froome shouldn’t be dismissed from the Tour de France reckoning

Froome has suffered more setbacks since the first surgery immediately after his crash last year. He had to have surgery to remove a metal plate from his hip, then surgery that was unrelated when he cut the tendons in his thumb with a kitchen knife. The 34-year-old then required more surgery after developing an infection in his hip in December 2019, which meant he had to leave the first Team Ineos training camp early.

He explained how he now has a big scar on his hip from where the plate was, two screws in his knee, two screws in his upper thigh and a rod through his femur. "There’s still a limp there but that will go with time," Froome said. "It’s a lot better than it was a few weeks ago."

After all this, he is back racing in a WorldTour peloton. While he isn't challenging at all for a big result yet, Froome says he has had no trepidation about returning to the pro peloton, or its inherent dangers.

"There’s no fear" he said, "or fear of the speed thankfully.

"There were no issues getting stuck in. I spend a lot of time training with the team, or other riders, down in the south of France, so being on the wheels wasn’t any different.”

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.