Froome: I'm lucky to be alive
Four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he is lucky to be alive after undergoing surgery following a horrific crash during a time trial recon at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.
The British Team INEOS rider released a statement on Saturday from his hospital bed at University Hospital in St Etienne thanking Doctor Richard Usher and his medical staff. He has also placed on record his gratitude to his family and the wider cycling community for their support since his life-threatening accident.
Froome explained the gravity of the incident via social media:
"I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race."
The 34-year-old is expected to be out for at least six months after being flung into a wall by a sudden wind while attempting to blow his nose. He was travelling at 54km/h.
Froome, who was airlifted to hospital for surgery, suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs and was in intensive care following the surgery.
“Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes to me since the crash," said the 34-year-old six-times Grand Tour winner, who also claimed overall victories at the Giro d'Italia last year and La Vuelta two years ago.
“This is obviously a tough time but I have taken a lot of strength from the support over the last three days. The outpouring of support has been really humbling and something I would never have expected.
"I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the team, especially Doctor Richard Usher and his medical staff, who have been exemplary since the crash. "
"In addition, I am so thankful to the emergency services and everyone at Roanne Hospital who assisted and stabilised me, as well as the surgeons, doctors and nurses at the University Hospital of St Etienne, who have really gone above and beyond the call of duty, for which I am ever so grateful.
Froome intends to resume his 12-year professional career as soon as he can recover from his injuries.
"Whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward," said Froome. "There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best.
"Finally, I want to thank my wife Michelle and my family. They’ve been with me every step of the way and their love and support will motivate me to return as quickly as possible."