- POSTED: 09 Jul 2014 05:01
Reigning champion Chris Froome will continue his Tour de France title defence despite crashing on the fourth stage, his Sky team manager Dave Brailsford said.
LE TOUQUET, France: Reigning champion Chris Froome will continue his Tour de France title defence despite crashing on the fourth stage, his Sky team manager Dave Brailsford said.
The 29-year-old Briton was knocked over early into the 163.5km stage from Le Touquet to Lille after two riders touched in the peloton and one swerved across his path.
He suffered grazes to his elbow and leg down the left side, while he also injured his wrist.
He went for an X-ray after the stage but Brailsford said he would be fine to continue.
"We've done the tests and we're relieved," said Brailsford. "He will start tomorrow and I hope it will be a great day.
"We took precautions, you're always concerned when you see your leader on the ground but that's part of sport.
"I think we've had quite a few crashes, so it's normal to be worried but we're going on.
"Chris is a fighter, he's not someone who gives up just like that."
Brailsford had earlier described Froome's injuries as "superficial".
The Kenyan-born British rider had grabbed his left wrist after climbing off the tarmac while his shorts were badly ripped.
He dropped back to the medical car for treatment.
Froome's left thigh was strapped up and he was given a splint for his left wrist and a bandage for his right hand.
His team-mate and compatriot Geraint Thomas said Froome was "a tough lad" and suggested his injuries might look worse than they really were.
"Unfortunately Froomey had that little spill and he was wearing the summer skin-suit so it rips pretty easily," said Thomas.
"It might look worse than it is, hopefully it does. He seemed to be riding OK."
Victory rival and yellow jersey wearer Vincenzo Nibali said the Briton had told him he was OK.
"We knew almost straightaway about his fall. When he got back to the group I went up to him and asked how he was; he wasn't in great spirits," said the Italian.
Nibali admitted that it was an inopportune time to be nursing bumps and bruises with Wednesday's cobbled fifth stage coming up.
"It's not great for tomorrow, I don't know if it will affect his day, you'd have to ask him to understand the seriousness of the fall today."
The crash took down several other riders, including Dutch outsider for overall victory Bauke Mollema of Belkin.
Last month Froome also fell on his left side at the Criterium du Dauphine.
He had been leading that race until the sixth stage crash.
He lost the lead to Alberto Contador the very next day and then cracked on the eighth and final stage, finishing more than five minutes behind the winner and dropping to 11th in the overall standings.
It's been a tricky year for Froome who also suffered a lower back problem that forced him out of March's Tirreno-Adriatico race while illness kept him out of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Ardennes Classic in April.