Chris Froome crashes in reconnaissance ride of opening Giro d'Italia stage

Chris Froome after his crash
Chris Froome after his crash

Chris Froome admitted crashing during his recce of the Giro d'Italia's opening stage was not the best start to his attempt to win a third straight grand tour but said it could have been worse.

Team Sky's five-time grand tour winner was one of several riders to fall as they tested Jerusalem's tight corners and rolling hills before the 9.7-kilometre time trial started but Froome got off lightly compared to ex-teammate Kanstantsin Siutsou.

The Belarusian's race was over before it started and he is now heading back to his Bahrain Merida team's Italian base with a broken neck.

Speaking after a stage that saw him cross the line in 21st place, 37 seconds behind defending champion and Friday's winner Tom Dumoulin, Froome said: "I'm alright and just grateful it wasn't more serious - a few guys went down and some were pretty badly injured."

Normally so solid against the clock, Froome rode like a man in pain, particularly in the twisty first half of the course, where he struggled to carry speed through corners.

The crash, which was filmed by a Belgian journalist and posted online, took place on a 90-degree turn about two kilometres into the course. Froome was not going quickly but his front wheel went from under him and he fell hard on his right side.

His team told reporters he was fine, bar a few scrapes, and the 32-year-old looked in reasonable shape as he did his usual high-intensity warm-up. Riding on a stationary bike is easier than riding on one that moves, though.

"Of course, it's always going to hurt, it's not ideal to race just after having crashed but that's bike racing," was all Froome would say afterwards, although he reassured reporters that his wounds were "superficial".

Dumoulin's Team Sunweb were parked next to Team Sky, making it easy to compare the two pre-race favourites' preparations.

While Froome's cuts bled through his bandages and sweat poured off his body, the 27-year-old Dutchman looked cool, calm and confident - and appearances were not deceiving.

In the stage winner's press conference, Dumoulin said he had been nervous beforehand but it was "a good nervous" and he knew the course suited him. He said he had seen Siutsou's crash and had read about Froome's mishap on Twitter but that did not change his approach.

"It's not a risk if you take a fast and good corner - I know I'm handling my time trial bike really well, especially on the technical courses with lots of corners and ups and downs," he said.

"I knew I had to be cautious but if you take good corners, it's OK."

He dismissed suggestions that the course was any more dangerous than any other but said Froome was clearly hampered by his crash.

"If you crash on the recon it doesn't make you very confident for the real race so he definitely lost a bit more time in the corners - it's very unfortunate for him," said Dumoulin.

"I didn't expect to take so much time on him and the other (general classification) guys but the course really suited me and it's a good start for me.

"I know what's coming for me, well, not every detail but I'm aware of the challenges that are coming. And like every GC rider says, you take it day by day, but being the badass I am, I'm going to take it hour by hour," he joked.

In contrast, there was not much to smile about at Team Sky, although Froome did acknowledge the strong ride put in by rising British star Simon Yates, who finished seventh, 19 seconds behind Dumoulin and 18 ahead of Froome.

"Yeah, Yates was pretty impressive, that was a good little ride from him. I don't think Tom was too much of a surprise, he's world champ time trialist, but congrats to him," said Froome.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Richard Johnston on Rock The Kasbah1

November Meeting: Five to watch

We pick out five early fancies for the three-day November Meeting at Cheltenham which starts on Friday afternoon.

Rory McIlroy2

DP World Tour Championship preview

It's the final event of the European Tour season and Ben Coley has just one selection for the DP World Tour Championship.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks to Daniel Sturridge3

Sturridge hit with betting charge

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the Football Association's betting rules.

Rob Cross, Glen Durrant and Peter Wright are in action at the Grand Slam of Darts on Monday4

Grand Slam of Darts: Day three tips

It's the final round of games in Groups E-H at the Grand Slam of Darts on Monday so here's the full order of play, match-by-match predictions and a suggested accumulator.

General view of the action from Chelmsford City5

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers looks ahead to the day's action with a strong word for Regular in the juvenile event at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening.

Most Read

Richard Johnston on Rock The Kasbah1

November Meeting: Five to watch

We pick out five early fancies for the three-day November Meeting at Cheltenham which starts on Friday afternoon.

Rory McIlroy2

DP World Tour Championship preview

It's the final event of the European Tour season and Ben Coley has just one selection for the DP World Tour Championship.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks to Daniel Sturridge3

Sturridge hit with betting charge

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the Football Association's betting rules.

Rob Cross, Glen Durrant and Peter Wright are in action at the Grand Slam of Darts on Monday4

Grand Slam of Darts: Day three tips

It's the final round of games in Groups E-H at the Grand Slam of Darts on Monday so here's the full order of play, match-by-match predictions and a suggested accumulator.

General view of the action from Chelmsford City5

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers looks ahead to the day's action with a strong word for Regular in the juvenile event at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening.

Racing Tips

General view of the action from Chelmsford City

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers looks ahead to the day's action with a strong word for Regular in the juvenile event at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening.

Richard Johnston on Rock The Kasbah

November Meeting: Five to watch

We pick out five early fancies for the three-day November Meeting at Cheltenham which starts on Friday afternoon.

Check out our latest racing Nap

Daily Nap: Backing Banditry

Matt Brocklebank backs a well-treated runner from the Ian Williams yard as he returns to hurdles action at Huntingdon.

Next Race Off

19:54 Zia Park
5
(5)
Real Heat
J: Ry Eikleberry
4
(4)
Timeless Indy
J: Frank Reyes

Football Tips

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Royal Line (right) pulls clear to win the November Handicap

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in November 2018.

Our best bets for Manchester City v Manchester United

Sterling to steal derby show

Raheem Sterling can break his goal-scoring duck against Manchester United as City look just too good for their derby rivals.