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

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
1

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

La Bague Au Roi made it a Christmas to remember2

Warren Greatrex: Winter wonderland

Warren Greatrex is having a brilliant time of things and the upbeat trainer from Upper Lambourn provides us with all the latest.

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?3

Chelsea transfer round-up

It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

Ben Coley's Farmers Insurance Open preview4

Farmers Insurance Open preview

Ben Coley believes Patrick Cantlay is perfectly prepared to land his second PGA Tour in this week's Farmers Insurance Open.

Check out our latest daily racing preview5

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

Most Read

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
1

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

La Bague Au Roi made it a Christmas to remember2

Warren Greatrex: Winter wonderland

Warren Greatrex is having a brilliant time of things and the upbeat trainer from Upper Lambourn provides us with all the latest.

Sporting Life's Chelsea transfer round-up: Will the Blues make January additions?3

Chelsea transfer round-up

It could be a busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea, with numerous players linked with moves involving the Stamford Bridge club.

Ben Coley's Farmers Insurance Open preview4

Farmers Insurance Open preview

Ben Coley believes Patrick Cantlay is perfectly prepared to land his second PGA Tour in this week's Farmers Insurance Open.

Check out our latest daily racing preview5

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

Racing Tips

Daily Nap: Top of the class

Matt Brocklebank is in the Sporting Life Daily Nap hotseat on Wednesday and he reckons Warren Greatrex's Top Rock Talula can justify support at Lingfield.

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

They race at Happy Valley on Wednesday

Happy Valley: On the Jolly?

We preview the Southorn Handicap at Happy Valley on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Racing at 2.15, with a rundown of each runner and a look at potential tactics.

Next Race Off

23:00 Turf Paradise
11
(11)
Windward Storm
J: Andrew Ramgeet
2
(2)
Put It On Ice
J: Francisco Arrieta
5
(5)
Miss Barton
J: Chad Lindsay

Football Tips

Our best bets for Burton v Manchester City

Expect goals at the Pirelli

With a 9/1 winner in the first-leg, Tom Carnduff is hoping for more profit as Burton take on Manchester City on Wednesday.

Aux Ptits Soins streaks clear at Cheltenham

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in January 2019.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

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