Crash victim Froome leaves hospital

Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) –


Chris Froome left Saint-Etienne hospital in France on Thursday a week after the horrific crash that ruled him out of next month's Tour de France.

The four-time Tour champion was transferred to an undisclosed rehabilitation centre specialising in getting top athletes back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Froome "will be looked after closely for the next few months" by Remi Philippot, the surgeon who led the medical team which operated on the stricken Team Ineos star.

The 34-year-old Briton tweeted: "This is just the first step to what will be a long recovery.

"Unfortunately I'm not yet able to go home, but at least I'll have an opportunity to get a visit from my kids."

He paid tribute to the care he had received during his stay in hospital.

"As my time at @ChuSaintEtienne has come to an end, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank the doctors & nurses for the exceptional care provided to me.

"It's been a rough week but I appreciate you having made it as comfortable as possible for me."

Froome said earlier in the week he was lucky to be alive after the high-speed June 13 crash on a training run before a stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Unbalanced by a gust of wind, Froome hit a wall, fracturing his leg, hip, arm and ribs which required four hours of surgery.