Chris Froome is hopeful he has escaped serious injury after being caught up in a horror crash at the Tour de France.
Stage 1 was a chaotic race with several crashes and none more horrifying than a massive pile-up approaching the final climb of the day.
Replays showed Froome was one of several riders taken down in the melee, which appeared to kick off when a B&B Hotels p/b KTM rider hit the tarmac.
Tour de France
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Froome, a four-time Tour de France winner, appeared to be in considerable pain but managed to finish the race – albeit at a considerably slower pace.
“Not how I planned for today to go but I managed to finish. Off for some scans,” Froome said on Twitter.
“I will update this evening. I hope everyone else who came down is okay.”
Froome crossed the finish line after being helped by Israel Start-up Nation team-mates Omer Goldstein, Rick Zabel and Reto Hollenstein.
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He finished 171st place, 14:37 minutes behind stage winner Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Julian Alaphilippe.
It was almost a case of last-man standing at the finish line as Alaphilippe took a risk to stage an attack on the frontline with 2.3km left.
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The world champion was too fast for the chasing pack and edges 12 seconds ahead of his rivals in the first standings.
"It’s really incredible, honestly," Alaphilippe said.
"It’s a scenario I imagined and the start of my Tour is a success. It’s a super feeling, my team did great work, they took care of me and controlled things. In the final, I was caught up in a crash but I was able to stay calm and then I had to finish off the work on the final climb, where we really wanted to make it hard and get rid of the sprinters. When Dries opened the gap I gave the maximum without asking any questions,” the yellow jersey holder said at the finish.
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"It wasn’t planned to go from that far but when I went I saw I had a small gap and I saw everyone was à bloc so I decided to keep going. In the final kilometre, I saw the gap wasn’t coming down. Every time it’s an emotion I can’t describe.”
He added: "It’s a joy for me to win but also to give emotions to those close to me. This is really a special win for me."
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