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Froome crashes at Tour de France but continues

AFP
Britain's Christopher Froome (C) rides after a fall next to Germany's Marcel Kittel (2nd L), Spain's Alberto Contador (R), and Britain's Geraint Thomas (L) during the 163.5 km fourth stage of the Tour de France on July 8, 2014
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Britain's Christopher Froome (C) rides after a fall next to Germany's Marcel Kittel (2nd L), Spain's Alberto Contador (R), and Britain's Geraint Thomas (L) during the 163.5 km fourth stage of the Tour de France on July 8, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jeff Pachoud)

Le Touquet (France) (AFP) - Reigning champion Chris Froome suffered an early crash on Thursday's fourth stage of the Tour de France but was able to carry on.

The 29-year-old Briton was knocked over after two riders touched in the peloton and one swerved into him.

Television pictures then showed the Team Sky leader with ripped shorts, grazes on his elbow and leg down the left side, while he was seen grabbing his left wrist after he got up.

He dropped back to the medical car for treatment.

Race doctor Florence Pommerie told France Televisions that the champion's wounds were superficial.

"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 bandage for his right hand, while he was later seen flexing his left hand as well.

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-hand 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 behind American champion Andrew Talansky.

It's been a tricky year for Froome who also suffered a lower back problem earlier in the year 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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