Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s bike ‘totaled’ by hit-and-run driver
(CNN) — Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has been knocked off his bike in a hit-and-run incident while training near Monaco.
The British cyclist, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015 and 2016, tweeted a picture of his crumpled bike on Tuesday but confirmed he hadn’t been injured.
He said: “Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!”
The Briton was riding in Beausoleil, close to his home in Monaco, when the incident took place. He is currently in training ahead of the Critérium du Dauphiné, an eight-day race in southern France that starts on June 4.
The Critérium du Dauphiné forms part of the Kenyan-born cyclist’s preparations for his attempt to win a hat-trick of Tour de France titles, when the world’s most prestigious road race returns for its 104th edition.
Italian cyclist and 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi was killed in April when he was hit by a van when out on a training ride near his home in Filottrano, on the east coast.
“This is a tragedy too big to be written,” his team Astana said in a statement about Scarponi, who had two young children with his wife Anna.
Froome is a divisive figure in France.
With the shadow of self-confessed serial doper Lance Armstrong still hanging over the Tour, Froome has been repeatedly accused of doping even though he insists he has always raced clean.
He has been shouted at and spat on during the race, with one fan even throwing a cup of urine over him during the 2015 installment and calling him a doper.
In an eventful race last year, Froome was fined for lashing out at a spectator who ran too close to him and decided to briefly jog up the famous Mont Ventoux after a crash wiped out his bike.
The 31-year-old Froome says he sees himself as a spokesman for clean cycling and insists the recent controversy surrounding Team Sky will not affect his legacy.
His team has been rocked by a UK Anti-Doping inquiry after revelations that a mystery package was delivered to Bradley Wiggins at an event shortly before his 2011 Tour win.
Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford appeared before a Parliament select committee to reveal the decongestant Fluimucil was in the package bound for Wiggins.
Questions have also been asked about how Team Sky used therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), which are essentially doctor’s notes enabling athletes to use medicines that would otherwise be banned.
Wiggins has come under particular scrutiny over his use of TUEs for the banned anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone as well as that package that was delivered by British Cycling coach Simon Cope during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine tour.
Wiggins has yet to publicly comment on the UKAD inquiry though in March he told Sky Sports’ Soccer AM show: “Fortunately there’s an investigation and I obviously can’t say too much because that will run its course and then I’ll have my say.
“There’s a lot to say and it’s going to shock a few people.”
Team Sky have constantly maintained that while they may have handled the situation badly, nothing untoward took place.