Chris Froome says he has come off crutches, returned to his bike, and is “heading in the right direction” with his recovery, following multiple injury setbacks this year.
The Briton was rushed to hospital via a helicopter after suffering a fractured vertebrae, leg, elbow and ribs, as well as losing four pints of blood after crashing into a wall during the Criterium du Dauphine in June.
He was using that race to prepare for the 2019 Tour de France and the 34-year-old also underwent surgery in September after badly cutting his thumb with a kitchen knife.
- Froome opens up on missing Tour de France
Froome is set to return to competitive action as early as this month after being named among the starters for the Saitama Criterium in Japan on October 27, alongside Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal, winner of this year’s Tour.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News at Eliud Kipchoge’s successful sub-two-hour marathon attempt in Vienna on Saturday, he said: “I’m getting there, it has been a tough summer.
“But at the same time, I have been incredibly lucky that the injuries weren’t more severe and thankfully I didn’t hit my head.
“I broke a lot of bones but I’m on my feet again, I’m back on my bike and off my crutches this week, so everything is heading in the right direction.”
Despite the lengthy time in hospital, the four-time Tour de France victor is relishing the chance to participate in next year’s race after missing out on the competition in 2019.
“That’s what’s driving me at the moment, I’m on four Tour de France victories and to get a fifth would be incredible,” he said.
“That’s the record and to equal that would be monumental for me.”
Froome also paid tribute to the support he received during his time recovering over the summer, adding: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to the fans, it was quite emotional and overwhelming at the time.
“It was touching that so many people reached out.”