Chris Froome admits he's lucky to be alive after a horror crash this week which has ruled him out of next month's Tour de France.
The four-time Tour de France winner hit a wall at 35-miles-per-hour during his recon ride ahead of the fourth-stage at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.
Froome suffered a fracture to his neck and right leg, as well as breaking a hip and damaging his elbow.
The 34-year-old has described the incident as a major setback but is focussed on returning to his best.
“Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes to me since the crash.
“This is obviously a tough time but I have taken a lot of strength from the support over the last three days. The outpouring of support has been really humbling and something I would never have expected.
“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the team, especially Doctor Richard Usher and his medical staff, who have been exemplary since the crash. In addition, I am so thankful to the emergency services and everyone at Roanne Hospital who assisted and stabilised me, as well as the surgeons, doctors and nurses at the University Hospital of St Etienne, who have really gone above and beyond the call of duty, for which I am ever so grateful. I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race.
“Whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward. There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best.
“Finally, I want to thank my wife Michelle and my family. They’ve been with me every step of the way and their love and support will motivate me to return as quickly as possible.”