Chris Froome has vowed he will be back after his horrific crash last week, while teammate Geraint Thomas has said the four-time Tour de France winner was ‘lucky’ his injuries weren’t more severe.
Froome broke multiple bones - fracturing his neck, femur and ribs - in a freak accident which saw him collide with a wall at nearly 40mph and he remains in hospital.
The Team Ineos rider was in defiant mood Monday, though, posting a gif of the Terminator on Twitter with the caption ‘I’ll be back’ along with the message “Looking at my post op scans like…”
Looking at my post op scans like... pic.twitter.com/T2r7fZ68h5
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) June 17, 2019
In Froome’s absence, Thomas - who became the first Welsh winner of the Tour de France in 2018 - will lead the Team Ineos challenge when the race begins on 6th July.
“It’s scary,” Thomas told the BBC of Froome’s injuries. “It’s never nice to hear, especially when it’s a close friend. It sounds horrific really.
“It sounds like he was lucky to come away with the damage he’s done. It could’ve been a hell of a lot worse, which I guess is a positive in a bad scenario.
“He’s got the best care around him so hopefully he can get back on the bike soon. I’ve sent him a couple of messages but I’m sure he’s got a few to get through. The whole team’s behind him.”
Although Froome’s absence gives Thomas a greater chance of being victorious when the race arrives on the Champs-Élysées on 28th July, the 33-year-old insists the injury is a blow to Team Ineos’ chances.
“When it comes to the actual race, [Froome] is one of the greatest Grand Tour riders ever, so not having him in the team is a big blow,” added Thomas.
“It gives us one less option when it comes to the last few kilometres of the big mountain stages but that’s sport and you’ve got to deal with it.
“We’ve got a strong squad anyway and whoever comes in, OK they’re not Chris Froome but they’ll still add to the team.”