'I just lost a bit of skin': Froome happy to finish relatively unscathed on Tour de France stage two

The defending champion was brought down in a crash on stage two with 30km to go

Chris Froome at the 2017 Tour de France (Credit:ASO/Pauline BALLET)
(Image credit: ASO/Pauline BALLET)

Chris Froome says that "everyone's ok" after a crash on the wet roads at the end of Tour de France stage two to Liège.

Team Sky's leader fell with four of his team-mates – yellow jersey Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe, Christian Knees and Michal Kwiatkowski – with 30.3 kilometres to race.

>>> Five talking points from stage two of the Tour de France

"There are no injuries thankfully, I just lost a little bit of skin," Froome said.

He arrived at the bus with the back side of his black Castelli shorts ripped. He climbed on the bus and returned outside to warm down before taking one question from the press.

"But that's the nature of the race because we knew it was slippery conditions like that,” Froome added.

"Every time you put a race out there like that it's a big risk with someone touching wheels or someone sliding a few wheels in front of you.

"You just can't avoid it but thankfully everyone's ok and got to the finish line without losing any time to arrivals."

Riders fall in a crash on stage two of the Tour de France (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Around a right hand bend, the rubber failed to grip for one unlucky rider, reportedly Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin), causing a wave of crashes behind including three-time winner Froome.

Froome immediately popped up, grabbed his spare bike and continued. Kwiatkowski and Knees paced him back to the peloton.

With 20 kilometres left, he switched bikes again. Perhaps, as often is the case with pro riders, he returned back to his preferred original bike.

Froome turned away right for the Sky bus after his answer to the press, his white jersey had turned grey from the wet and dirty day.

Geraint Thomas accepted a new yellow jersey on the podium as race leader, while Rowe, Knees and Kwiatkowski all had come in earlier with scratches and scrapes.

Luke Rowe picks himself up after crashing on stage two of the Tour de France (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Rowe, who arrived last of the Sky group at 14 minutes back from stage winner Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), visibly appeared worst.

"I have no real damage at all," Thomas said. "It took a bit of skin, but all good.

"Today was just one of those things where there was nowhere to go. When three or four go down on a corner you have to be lucky to avoid it."

After a day of celebration where Thomas won the stage one time trial and yellow jersey, this was a day of nerves and fear. Froome, like what happened in 2014, almost lost it all with a silly crash.

"Those things can happen," sports director Servais Knaven said.

"We were in a good position in the front, someone went down and then there's no where you go and avoid it. Especially on those roads, when you touch the brakes too much, then you go down.

"You have no option because if you don't brake then you go full into the rider, but if you brake, then you crash. There's almost no chance."

Chris Froome on stage two of the 2017 Tour de France (ASO)
(Image credit: ASO/Pauline BALLET)

The team regrouped well and "stayed pretty relaxed." Thomas remained in the famous maillot jaune and Froome's helpers circled around him.

"There's not much you can do, just grab a new bike and put him back on the bike. Luckily everything looked ok and he could go back on the bike immediately.

"Some of the other guys need some treatment, but in general, it looks ok. Froome? He has some scratches and wounds on his back, but as it looks now, nothing major.

"We will see [if it will bother him], you never know. Sometimes it's worse the day after or two days after, we have to see, but for now it doesn't look too bad."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.