Sunday 17 December 2017

Chris Froome 'rammed' by impatient driver in hit-and-run incident

Chris Froome has said he was deliberately knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver while training in southern France.

The three-time Tour de France winner posted a picture of his broken bike on Twitter but said he was not hurt in the incident.

The Team Sky rider wrote: "Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!"

The picture was geotagged from Beausoleil in France, close to Froome's home in Monaco. His Pinarello Dogma F10 bike appeared to be damaged beyond repair.

Team Sky said the 31-year-old had returned home to get a spare bike and had continued his training after the incident, which will be reported to the police.

Last month, 2011 Giro d'Italia winner Michele Scarponi of the Astana team was killed when he was knocked off his bike by a van while training close to home in Italy.

Scarponi had been preparing for this year's Giro, where the Mortirolo climb has now been named in his honour.

Also last month, Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider Yoann Offredo posted pictures on social media of himself badly bloodied, saying he had been the victim of an assault while out riding with two friends in the Chevreuse Valley, south west of Paris.

Froome's Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas, who is competing at the Giro d'Italia, told "It's a reminder, it shows how dangerous it can be.

"I only saw it five minutes before getting off the bus. It didn't look good at all. I'll speak to him later today."

Spanish rider Mikel Landa, who is also riding at the Giro for Team Sky, added: "You can't always be scared when you are riding on the roads, but with the situation like you see today with Froome, you think a lot about how we are at risk on the road.

"I had goose bumps (seeing the photograph). I thought about Scarponi. In an accident, we are always going to be the one who's worse off."

Froome is preparing for this year's Tour, where he will be seeking a fourth title in five years and third in a row.

He finished 18th in the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland at the end of last month, and his next race is expected to be the Criterium du Dauphine - a race he won ahead of each of his Tour victories in 2013, 2015 and 2016 - at the start of June.

The Tour de France starts in Dusseldorf on July 1.

Press Association

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