Being a defending champion does not grant immunity from misfortune. Chris Froome found out first-hand how quickly luck can change.
Doubts are swirling around regarding Team Sky’s Chris Froome following his quick yet potentially title threatening crash on the roads between Le Touquet to Lille.
Up towards the front, a slight shift in position between Stef Clement and Jens Keukeleire caused contact with Froome’s front wheel and Keukeleire’s rear. The resulting impact left Froome on the ground with potential injuries.
Undeterred, Froome quickly remounted and finished the stage which was won by Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel.
Froome’s injuries appear to be limited to his left flank and hip with minor bruising and scratches. While typically not threatening, these injuries could prove pivotal on the rough, ice-like conditions promised by the rain soaked cobblestone roads of the Paris-Roubaix.
Team mates of Froome are worried, yet optimistic, hoping his talent and experience can offset the injuries.
“But crashing is part of the sport and I think [Froome] will be able to bounce back. He’s tough mentally and physically. He’s got a strong team to help him,” said team mate Geraint Thomas. The Paris-Roubaix is promising to be a harsh war of attrition where endurance, strength, and perseverance will be the key to winning.
The biggest concern is if Foome will be able to remain competitive during the grueling Paris-Roubaix stage. Treacherous and arduous in perfect weather, the cobblestone streets are expected to be particularly hellish with the coming weather which is forecast to bring rain and wind.