July 28, 2019 / 10:35 PM / a month ago

Cycling: Froome ahead of schedule in recovery, says Brailsford

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 171-km Stage 18 from Trie-sur-Baise to Pau - July 26, 2018 - Team Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain in action. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Chris Froome’s recovery from his horrific crash is “ahead of schedule”, leaving Team Ineos hopeful that he will be back at next year’s Tour de France seeking to regain his title.

Team principal Dave Brailsford broke the news of the four-time champion’s encouraging progress on the day Ineos were celebrating their one-two at the Tour with new champion Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas taking the top two spots on the Paris podium.

The 34-year-old Froome broke his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in the accident that occurred less than four weeks before the start of the Tour, painfully ending his dream of a record-equalling fifth title.

Yet Froome, who tweeted a video of himself back home last week pedaling with one leg on an exercise bike, is doing better than anyone had expected in his rehabilitation, Brailsford reported.

“He’s managed to turn a pedal now with his other leg. He’s well ahead of where he was hoping to be,” Brailsford told the BBC radio Sportsweek program.

“In typical Chris Froome fashion, he’s putting everything into his recovery. Hopefully we’ll see him back at the Tour de France next year.”

If one of the great Tour champions does make a full recovery for the 2020 edition, it will be fascinating to see how the team dynamic will work with Bernal, the new king of the Tour at just 22, Thomas and Froome, the last three winners of the event, all in the team together.

Froome sent a congratulatory tweet to his young team mate on Sunday, accompanied by a photo of himself raising a glass of champagne to toast the Colombian.

Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Toby Davis

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