Hurt Froome to keep racing

Chris Froome will continue racing at the Tour de France but has admitted the injury he sustained to his right wrist in a crash on stage four is “certainly not ideal”.

The defending champion fell heavily in the early kilometres of the day after another rider veered across his path and clashed wheels.

Froome suffered cuts to his left shoulder, elbow, hip and knee, but of greater concern was an impact injury to his wrist.

He underwent an X-ray after the stage but was given the all-clear to start Wednesday's fifth stage by the race doctor.

Froome said: "I took a bit of a knock, but I'm happy to make it through the day and get to the finish line without losing any time to my main competitors.

"The bumps and scrapes are fine but I fell heavily on my wrist so I needed to get it checked out by the doctors. I'm really pleased that I have been cleared to race and I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow.

"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.\"

The injury is a potentially significant setback given that stage five contains 15.4km of cobblestones, which could exacerbate the pain and also carries the threat of both time losses and further crashes.

There is also the fear that his injuries could have an impact on his form. Froome crashed at the Criterium du Dauphine last month when leading and although he did not suffer serious injuries, his race condition was badly affected and he ended up finishing 12th.

Of his crash on Tuesday, he added: "One of the riders in front of me overlapped the wheel of another rider and caught my front wheel. I didn't have time to react and I before I knew it I was on the ground. But that's bike racing and I'm pleased I'll be back on the race tomorrow."