Chris Froome’s hopes of pulling off a rare Tour de France-Vuelta a España double are over after the Briton confirmed his withdrawal from the race on Thursday morning with a fractured bone in a foot. following a heavy crash early on Wednesday.
Froome hit a barrier at the start of the brutal 11th stage in the Pyrenees and limped across the line more than seven minutes behind the new leader, Fabio Aru, and almost nine minutes behind the stage winner, Mikel Landa from Spain. Later on Wednesday, the two-time Tour de France admitted it was unlikely he would start stage 12 after undergoing scans on his injured knee and shoulder.
Confirming his withdrawal on Thursday, Froome tweeted: “Scans this morning confirm fractured navicular. End of the Vuelta for me”.
Froome appeared close to abandoning the race when he was dropped from the group of main contenders with three of the six climbs remaining but the 30-year-old doggedly continued with the help of his Sky team-mates and managed to finish the stage.
However, Froome’s hopes of emulating Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil, in 1963, and Bernard Hinault (1978) as the only men to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year are over.
“Really appreciate all the messages of support, I did my best to hang in there today” Froome added, while praising his team mate Geraint Thomas, who helped nurse him through to the finish.
“Thanks to the whole team for the support, especially @GeraintThomas86 for sticking it out with me today.”
The 21-stage race finishes in Madrid on 13 September.