Cycling champion Chris Froome victim of hit-and-run
London — Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome said on Tuesday he was deliberately knocked off his bicycle by a hit-and-run driver while training in southern France.
The British rider posted a picture of his badly damaged bike on Twitter, but said he had escaped injury.
"Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!" tweeted the 31-year-old Froome, a three-time winner of the Tour, road cycling’s most prestigious race.
"Thankfully I’m okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!" The picture was geotagged from the French town of Beausoleil, just next to Monaco, and retweeted more than 16,000 times in just a few hours.
A police source in the neighbouring town of Menton said: "Mr Froome filed a complaint at the police station in Beausoleil, where he was met by an officer. He was very calm. "He was hit by a vehicle which was right on his tail. He wasn’t hurt but his bike was in bits.
"The problem is that he does not have the registration number of the car and it will be a bit complicated (to find the motorist)."
Police will study CCTV footage along the road, the source said.
Froome’s team Sky said he returned home to get a spare bike and continued his training after the incident.
Spanish star cyclist Alberto Contador tweeted the picture of Froome’s mangled bike and the words: "No comment...!!!"
Last month, former Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi was killed when the 37-year-old Astana team rider was knocked off his bike after colliding with a van while training near his home in central Italy.
Froome will defend his title when the Tour de France begins in Dusseldorf, Germany, on July 1.