Paris - Defending champion Chris Froome crashed out of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Briton fell twice during a wet and treacherous fifth stage.
The second time he was visibly injured and was seen shaking his head and holding his right arm before climbing into a Team Sky car.
Television pictures missed the fall itself but Froome was seen with ripped jersey and shorts down his right hand side trying to fix a mechanical problem by the side of the road.
Blood and grazing could also be seen on his hip through a rip in his shorts.
Froome was riding with a splint on the left wrist he injured in a crash on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s fifth stage began in driving rain.
Two of the nine anticipated cobbled sections had to be removed because they were deemed too dangerous.
But Froome’s crash happened 40 minutes into the stage on a straight bit of normal tarmac, a long distance before the peloton was due to hit the cobbles.
Moments later German Tony Martin, part of a nine-man breakaway on the stage, also hit the deck. – Sapa-AFP