[Updated] Froome out of Vuelta a España due to stage 11 crash injuries: “Too much to continue”

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Chris Froome’s bid to win the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in the same season has come to an untimely end as a result of injuries suffered during Wednesday’s 11st stage of the race. A MRI scan carried out Thursday morning revealed a fracture to the navicular bone in his right foot, explaining his difficulty in putting weight on the area and his pain on and off the bike.

The Sky leader hit the deck inside the opening kilometres of the stage in Andorra and while he was able to eventually return to the group of overall contenders, he suffered the effects of the impact later on and crossed the line 32nd, almost nine minutes down.

He was in visible pain dismounting from his bike and his grimace, a very obvious limp and blood on his leg pointed to an injury to his knee. His team stated later that his foot was the main problem.

Team-mate Geraint Thomas hoped that he would continue. “He always keeps fighting and that’s what we did,” he told Eurosport after the stage, explaining the battle to get to the line. “Not the ideal day. Froomey keeps fighting and he is still in the race, so he can go for stages or whatever. Obviously it’s disappointing to be out of the GC now. Not a good day.”



The Briton went for X-rays after the stage and the team said that he would then undergo a MRI examination on Thursday morning.

However, hours in advance of the second check he expressed doubt about being able to stay in the race.

Those fears have now come to pass and he is heading home a week and a half earlier than planned.

The navicular bone helps connect the anklebone to the cuneiform bones of the foot.

Froome gave an update as to the exact situation. “I’m really gutted to be leaving the race but the injuries that I sustained on yesterday’s stage were too much to continue,” he explained.

“I hit my right side heavily and the main impact went on my right foot. I was desperate to dig in and finish the stage and my team-mates did brilliantly to get me through it, but as soon as I got off the bike I couldn’t put any weight on my right side.”

He said that the MRI scan had shown the fractured navicular bone in his right foot. He will now work with Sky’s medical team on his recovery.

Given the injury, his performance on Wednesday’s stage was hugely courageous.

Team Sky Doctor Inigo Sarriegui gave context. “He couldn’t put any pressure on it [his right foot] so he was basically cycling just with his left.

“After the stage we did some examinations which revealed he was very tender on his right foot around the navicular area. He had an x-ray which didn’t show up a fracture, but because he still couldn’t weight-bear we proceeded onto an MRI this morning which confirmed there was a fracture.”

While Froome had shown signs of fatigue at the start of the race, he finished second to Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) on stage nine. He was eighth overall, one minute 18 seconds back, at the start of Wednesday’s stage but dropped to seven and a half minutes back as a result of his injuries.

It is yet to be confirmed if his season is over, but many patients with a fracture to this bone are placed in a non–weight-bearing cast for six weeks. Medical studies have shown healing can take up to four months.

Froome will return home Thursday and get a specialist opinion on further treatment.

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