Tour de France winner Chris Froome is in intensive care after sustaining multiple injuries and losing two liters of blood, after a horror crash during the Criterium de Dauphine race in France.
The crash occurred when he attempted to blow his nose while riding at around 40 miles-per-hour and collided with a wall, breaking his leg, ribs and elbow in the accident.
Froome was rushed to hospital and into surgery where he reportedly lost two liters of blood, forcing medics to put the cycling ace into an intensive care unit to stabilize him.
After recovering sufficiently to issue a statement, Froome said: “Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes to me since the crash.
“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 stabilized 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. 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.
“Whilst this is a setback, and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward. 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.”
Orthopedic surgeon Giorgio Gresta told Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport that he believed Froome could bounce back better than ever, despite his injuries.
“He was optimistic, despite his injuries not being simple,” he explained.
“He seemed determined to ride again and return to racing. And, from a medical point of view, there won’t be a problem. He can recover from all his injuries.
“A number of athletes have come to us to recover from injuries. Froome was unlucky with his crash but he was lucky to be close to us.”
Gresta explained the decision to move Froome into an intensive care unit was as a result of a draining surgery that saw him lose around two liters of blood.
“The intensive care? That was a precautionary measure due to the length of the surgery and considering that the patient had lost a lot of blood, more or less two liters,” he said.
“He’s not facing any specific risk and it’s important he’s calm and relaxed.
“He’ll be transferred to a normal care unit as soon as possible. His recovery time depends on his desire to fight back but he seems very motivated. He could just need six months to be back stronger than before.”