Froome’s preparations marred by crash

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The 2013 Tour champion was involved in a crash about 12 kilometres from the finish in Belgium, suffering cuts and bruises on his left thigh and leaving his shorts torn. It resembled the injury he suffered during last year's Tour de France, which ultimately led him to withdraw from the race after the fifth stage.

The Briton yesterday got back on his bike and rode on to finish 123rd.

“Chris ... was pretty banged up but showed real courage to finish the race and we'll assess his injuries overnight,” the Team Sky sports director, Gabriel Rasch, said. “He hasn't needed to go to hospital and right now, as things stand, we're still expecting him to line up at the Tour de Romandie next Tuesday.”

Froome later tweeted: “#HappyEarthDay unfortunately I chose to eat some of it today... C'est la vie!”

Froome entered La Flèche in order to gain experience on the famously steep Mur de Huy hill, which will feature in this year's Tour. However, his crash marks the latest chapter in a difficult year for Froome, who struggled in last month's Tour of Catalunya.

Spain's Alejandro Valverde perfectly timed his attack to win La Flèche for the third time and the second year in a row. Valverde, the runner-up at the Amstel Gold Race last week, won a sprint ahead of France's Julian Alaphilippe and Swiss rider Michael Albasini at the top of the Mur de Huy. – The Independent

Original source: Froome’s preparations marred by crash

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