FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Grand Tour king Chris Froome (Sky) escaped with scrapes and bruises after falling on his left side training in South Africa for the upcoming 2018 season.
Froome fell Thursday during part of a 201.6-kilometer ride near his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. He posted a photograph on Instagram stories with blood on his left shoulder and hip.
A Team Sky spokesman said, “Chris is fine. He came off when he was out on the bike yesterday but it’s just a bit of road rash so it won’t affect his training at all.”
Froome posted the photograph without words or a description of how Thursday’s crash occurred, just putting an emoji with a frown face.
The victor of four editions of the Tour de France is home in South Africa training. The fall came during a ride of six hours with 2,381 meters of climbing. His march towards the 2018 season should go uninterrupted after the fall.
In similar recent incidents, he has been able to continue without much disturbance. He fell in the second week of the Vuelta, twice in stage 12 to Antequera, but continued to take the title ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin).
The 2017 Vuelta title remains uncertain as Froome tested for twice the amount of asthma drug salbutamol during the third week, on stage 18. The Cycling Anti-doping Foundation (CADF) is investigating it and, in what could be a long affair, Froome risks losing the title and a suspension.
Froome’s 2018 plans include a return to the Giro d’Italia in May and in July, a shot at a record-equalling fifth Tour title. The win would put him with the greats including Eddy Merckx.
The 2018 season becomes much more interesting now with the Giro programmed and a shot at winning the Giro/Tour double on the heels of his Vuelta title. That all, of course, hinges on the salbutamol case.
He is due to begin his season in February, perhaps at the Ruta del Sol on February 14.
Froome’s 2018 build-up may be easily followed now that he has a public Strava. The 32-year-old Brit has been logging some serious miles since he began publishing rides again on December 28. He has had short recovery mountain bike rides, but most of his rides have been 160, 180 and 200-plus kilometers.
On New Year’s Day, he covered 157 kilometers and climbed 2,533 meters in an “interval session.” His 150-kilometer spin on Wednesday earned him 24 trophies and 10,065 kudos in Strava.
His biggest ride saw him out the door at 5:00 A.M. on Sunday to cover 224.5 kilometers. He averaged an amazing 37.9kph and ended the day in 105°F temperatures.
Some said in 2016 that Froome already was posting Strava rides under alias Luke Skywalker. American Ian Boswell, now no longer with Sky but Katusha, was training with him at the time and posting the same rides as that account.
“It’s fun to compare [rides to other professionals],” Boswell told VeloNews at the time. “I feel bad though because the locals had some KOMs and the pros show up and put the times out of reach.”
Followers already have asked Froome to keep posting Strava rides throughout the season. Other professionals do so, allowing for a detailed insight into how they are performing in the races and where they are training during the year.