Froome crashed into a barrier at the start of the day’s brutal mountain stage, and was forced to chase back to the peloton. Although he continued during the stage he was visibly struggling, dropping out of the lead group and losing over seven minutes to his overall rivals.
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The 30-year-old announced via Twitter on Thursday morning that he would not continue in the race, saying “Scans this morning confirm fractured navicular. End of the Vuelta for me.”
The Tour de France champion could barely walk as he was helped off his bike at the finish line in Cortals d’Encamp, and was taken to hospital for x-rays to determine the extent of his injuries.
“Knocked sideways into a barrier and stone wall today. Further scans in the morning but start unlikely as I can’t walk without crutches,” Froome said via Twitter on Wednesday evening.
“Really appreciate all the messages of support, I did my best to hang in there today as best I could with the hope of continuing.”
Team Sky’s doctor Inigo Sarriegui said: “After the stage we did some examinations which revealed he was very tender on his right foot around the navicular area. He had an x-ray which didn’t show up a fracture, but because he still couldn’t weight-bear we proceeded onto an MRI this morning which confirmed there was a fracture.
“Chris will go home today and the next step will be to get a specialist opinion on further treatment.”
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Froome was in 15th place overall, seven minutes and 30 seconds behind overall leader Fabio Aru (Astana) with 10 stages remaining.
Team Sky’s highest-placed rider overall is now Spaniard Mikel Nieve, who sits in eighth place overall, one minute and 58 seconds behind Aru.
More to follow.