Tour doctor: No obvious fracture for Froome, but cobbles will decide

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Tour de France race doctor Florence Pommerie has said that the x-rays and scans taken of Chris Froome’s wrist at the finish don’t reveal any obvious signs of a fracture and that the rider will try to continue in the race on Wednesday.

“We didn’t see a very, very big thing. We don’t know really if there is something important or not. He doesn’t seem to have anything [fractured] or, if there is something, it could be very, very small,” she told a small group of media at the Tour’s mobile medical clinic, several minutes after Froome left without passing comment.

“So we decided to wait, to immobilise him, because there is no big thing on the radio [x-ray]. But sometimes we don’t see anything because the wrist is a very special place.

“We decided just to wait for a few days, until tomorrow, because tomorrow will be a good test [with the cobbles]. If the pain is still there or worse, maybe we will make a new x-ray or scan.

“Because there is not a big fracture, [there is] not something you can see directly and say he has to stop. There is some pain. It is not so much, but it is on the wrist. So that is why for tomorrow the pain could be worse.”

She said that Froome’s sensations in the morning and in the stage itself will ultimately determine what happens. “He will decide for himself. We will see tomorrow. It is a test for tomorrow.”

Froome crashed early on stage four, hitting the deck when two riders in front of him came together and one was pushed across his front wheel. He quickly remounted and chased back on, but later was given a support to wear on his wrist in the race. This prompted questions about the extent of his injury, and whether it might compromise or even end his Tour campaign.

He went to his Team Sky bus after the finish and remained on board for a considerable amount of time. Crowds of journalists and TV crews waited outside for a comment from him or his team, but the bus eventually drove off without any update as to his condition.

It moved 200 metres up the road, then Froome quickly emerged and got into a team car driven by Dario Cioni. This then travelled to the Tour’s mobile medical centre, parked close to the finish line, and Froome exited from the car and went directly inside.

The check took approximately twenty minutes and then he emerged, gave a discrete thumbs up to the TV cameras, a slight smile and got into the car. It then moved off.

Approximately ten minutes later Dr. Pommerie spoke to a very small number of media. She said that the wrist is a complicated area [due to the number of small bones there] and while there was no obvious signs of a fracture, it was possible that there could be something. Time, and Wednesday’s cobblestones, would ultimately tell.

“It is difficult tomorrow because it is moving a lot,” she told CyclingTips, when asked about the complications those cobblestones could cause. “If you have a pain in the wrist, of course it is moving a lot so it could be painful.”

For now, though, she said that Froome wasn’t panicking. “As usual, he was very calm. Just calm. He was just waiting,” she said, describing his behaviour while receiving medical attention.

“He said, ‘okay, I will try tomorrow. We will see the pain.’

“If it is better and better, there is no problem. If it is worse, we will make a scan or something else.”

For now, though, the 2013 Tour de France champion remains in the race. Proving his wrist doesn’t worsen over night or on the pavé, the defence of his title will continue.

Froome gets x-rays after stage four of 2014 Tour de France from cycling tips on Vimeo.

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