Froome to undergo X-ray after Tour de France crash

Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome will undergo an X-ray on Tuesday evening after crashing on the fourth stage, his Sky team manager Dave Brailsford said.

The 29-year-old Briton was knocked over early into the 163.5km stage from Le Touquet to Lille after two riders touched in the peloton and one swerved across his path.

He suffered grazes to his elbow and leg down the left side, while he also injured his wrist.

But Brailsford said he should be fine for the rest of the Tour.

"He fell, it`s clear to see, but his injuries are quite superficial," said Braislford.

"He felt well at the end but we`ll still take him for an X-ray to ensure he`s not got anything. I hope he`s fine."

Froome grabbed his left wrist after climbing off the tarmac while his shorts were badly ripped.

He dropped back to the medical car for treatment.

Race doctor Florence Pommerie said the champion`s wounds were not serious.

"They`re essentially a few scratches, but that`s got to hurt nevertheless. He also hurt his wrist, but we`ll have to wait and see how it goes," he said.

Froome`s left thigh was strapped up and he was given a splint for his left wrist and a bandage for his right hand.

Victory rival and yellow jersey wearer Vincenzo Nibali said the Briton had told him he was OK.

"We knew almost straightaway about his fall. When he got back to the group I went up to him and asked how he was; he wasn`t in great spirits," said the Italian.

Nibali admitted that it was an inopportune time to be nursing bumps and bruises with Wednesday`s cobbled fifth stage coming up.

"It`s not great for tomorrow, I don`t know if it will effect his day, you`d have to ask him to understand the seriousness of the fall today."

Sky`s sporting director Nicolas Portal admitted the team had been worried when Froome went down.

"We were very scared, as was everyone," said Portal.

"I spoke to him, he seems OK. He must have fallen hard, I imagine, but it`s OK."

The crash took down several other riders, including Dutch outsider for the overall victory Bauke Mollema of Belkin.

Last month Froome also fell on his left side at the Criterium du Dauphine.

He had been leading that race until the sixth stage crash.

He lost the lead to Alberto Contador the very next day and then cracked on the eighth and final stage, finishing more than five minutes behind the winner and dropping to 11th in the overall standings.

It`s been a tricky year for Froome who also suffered a lower back problem that forced him out of March`s Tirreno-Adriatico race while illness kept him out of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Ardennes Classic in April.

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