Froome relieved after Tour crash


A relieved Chris Froome felt he got lucky after a fall in treacherous conditions on stage 19 of the Tour de France did not prove to be costly.

Froome went down on a slippery surface with just over 10 kilometres left on the 146-kilometre route from Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc on Friday, forcing him to continue on team-mate Geraint Thomas' bike.

The Team Sky rider did not pay the price for that crash, as he now leads by four minutes and 11 seconds with only two stages remaining and will surely claim a third Tour title on Sunday.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) suffered a nasty fall, which saw him tumble down the general classification standings after starting the day in second place behind Froome.

Defending champion Froome had a bandage on his knee when he took to the podium and the Brit was just happy not to have done serious damage.

He said: "Today is that kind of day that I'm grateful to have a four-minute advantage to fall back on.

"It was great to have all the team around me, Wout Poels in particular. All the guys. It was a great team effort. It feels good to be one day closer to Paris.

"Today shows exactly why [anything can happen in the Tour]. I'm really grateful to see nothing seriously injured, it could've gone either way there. There's never a dull day in the Tour."

He added: "It's ironic really, I was trying to stay up front and out of trouble, just hit one of the white lines and lost my wheel,

"I'm okay. I'm lucky, nothing is seriously injured. I just lost a little skin and banged my knee a bit."