Martin on Froome crash - 'I thought he could have been dead'
Dan Martin has recounted the horrific moment Chris Froome crashed into a wall, admitting he thought the Team Ineos rider “could have been dead”.
Froome is in intensive care after suffering multiple fractures in a high-speed crash on Wednesday.
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The six-time Grand Tour winner was flung into a wall by a sudden wind while attempting to blow his nose during a recon ride at the Criterium du Dauphine. He was travelling at 54km/h.
Froome, who was airlifted to hospital for surgery, suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.
UAE Team Emirates rider Martin was behind Froome when the incident happened, and the Irishman spoke to Cyclingnews about how he feared the worse when witnessing the crash.
"I keep seeing it. It's horrible to see something like that as well," Martin said ahead of stage 5 at the Dauphine.
"Me and Neil [Neil Stephens the UAE Team Emirates director who followed Martin during the recon - ed.] caught them just before the top of the climb and we didn't want to mess up their recon so we stayed behind them on the recon and didn't want to get in the way. Then it happened."
" We stopped. Neil and I looked at each other in stunned silence and just stood there for 20 seconds, just shaking. I stayed by the team car and we asked if there was anything we could do but I thought it could have been much worse. I thought he could have been dead. To see something like that isn't pleasant."
"He blew his nose, the wind caught him and then he veered out in front of the team car. We didn't see what happened but we saw him hit the wall. He didn't have any chance to lose any speed. We didn't want to say anything yesterday out of respect for Chris and his family. It was up to Ineos to say what they needed.
" Refocusing after that was not an easy task. I was thinking about it last night and I'm still replaying it in my head. It's very, very unpleasant."
"It just shows how dangerous cycling can be. Not just what we're doing, but for anybody. That could have happened to anyone. It was a freak accident, with a freak gust of wind. It's happened to me in training but at a much slower speed. I once took my hand off the bars to take off an arm-warmer and the wind caught me and I was down. Chris is really unfortunate."