Chris Froome (Tem Ineos) recently told the press that he would have to have further surgery to mend the injuries caused by a dramatic crash that almost put an end to his career. In June of this year, the four-time Tour de France champ was riding at the Critérium du Dauphiné when he lost control on a descent, crashing into a wall and suffering various injuries. Froome fractured various bones – including his femur, elbow, sternum, and vertebrae – and also lost a large amount of blood. He spent almost a month in hospital in intensive care, facing a setback in September 2019, when he accidentally cut his thumb at home and had to undergo surgery. 

Back on the Road

Froome was unable to compete in the Tour de France in July owing to his big crash, yet although the odds seem stacked against him, he most recently began working out in his local velodrome again, after riding his stationary bike at home. His progress is testimony to the life-changing power of cycling – a sport that is as demanding as it is motivating. Despite setbacks and risks, the sport continues to entice Froome, who has already ridden a recce of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic course. Joining him in a “very wet recon of the Tokyo olympics route” (as seen on Froome’s Instagram account) were team-mates Michal Kwiatkowski and competitors Jakon Fuglsang (Astana) and Romain Bradet (Ag2r La Mondiale). The cyclists tested their mettle on the gruelling slopes of Mount Fuji. 

A Long Way to Go

Froome’s immediate aim is to obtain a fifth Tour de France title next season as a lead-up to the Olympics. However, he recently told the press that he would need surgery to remove the metal supports placed in his hip and elbow areas, recognizing that he still had a long way to go. He has admitted that despite training daily in Japan, his physical condition is not at the required level, so he has decided to skip the Saitama Criterium (though he is still in the race). He stated that his recovery has gone “extremely well”, yet he was not quite ready to be in a peloton or to accelerate out of tight corners. 

Chris Froome continues to work on his fitness in Japan, though at the moment, the extent to which he will be able to compete in a peloton depends on further surgery and his speed of recovery. He has already shown the stuff he is made of, training alongside fellow athletes along challenging courses. Spirits are high and the athlete himself foresees a good showing in the upcoming Olympics, where he hopes to prove that a true champion continues to show up despite all the setbacks.

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