UK & World News

  • 10 July 2014, 3:55

Chris Froome 'Devastated' By Tour Exit

Defending champion Chris Froome is out of the Tour de France after crashing twice during the fifth stage.

The British Team Sky rider had his first fall 29km into the Ypres to Arenburg Porte du Hinautstage, amid torrential rain.

His second spill came after 83km, with the 29-year-old pictured shaking his head, limping and holding his right arm.

Froomeclimbed into the team car after speaking to team doctor lan Farrell and Sports Director Nicolas Portal.

He was forced to pull out before reaching the more treacherous cobbled section, with the stage also seeing a number of other riders upended.

The 2013 champion thanked the team for "trying to get me through" and tweeted: "Devastated to have to withdraw from this years TDF. Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible."

Froome's bad luck startedthe day beforewhen another rider cut across hisfront wheel leaving him with a damaged wrist and cuts to his left shoulder, elbow, hip and knee.

He still managed to finish seventh overall and had an X-ray which gave him the all-clear.

Speaking on Tuesday, Froome said:"The wrist is painful and it's certainly not ideal going into tomorrow's cobbled stage, but I have a great team around me and we will get through the next few days as best we can."

Froome claimed last year's Tour by four minutes and 20 seconds to become only the second Briton to win the race, but will now be a spectator for the remaining two and a half weeks.

Belkin rider Lars Boom wonWednesday's 152.5km stage after breaking away during the last cobbled section.

Astana's Jakob Fuglsang was second, followed by team mate and yellow jersey-holderVicenzo Nibali.

Team Sky ridersRichie Porte andGeraintThomas finished 20th and 21st to sit at eight and 14th in the overall standings.

Froome's withdrawal from the race, the first time since 1980 that a defending champion has pulled out, comes days after Mark Cavendish was forced out by a dislocated shoulder.