London (AFP) – Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome said 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 Beausoleil, near Froome’s home in Monaco, and retweeted more than 12,000 times in just a few hours.
Froome rides for the British-based Team Sky and will defend his title when the Tour de France begins in Dusseldorf, Germany, on July 1.
Sky said Froome returned home to get a spare bike and continued his training after the incident.
French police had no immediate response, while 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.
<figure><figcaption>Britain's Chris Froome is a three-time winner of the Tour de France <span>Copyright AFP/File Fabrice COFFRINI</span> </figcaption></figure>