BERLIN – The four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is on the road to recovery following a horror crash in June and is targeting a return to the classic race next year.
"Week by week I set myself little goals in terms of allowing myself a bit more movement, just small goals," the 34-year-old Briton said in an interview released by his Team Ineos on Saturday.
"But for me, the underlying goal is to get to the start of the Tour de France next year in 2020 and to be at a similar or better position than I was this year. That's what's driving me at the moment."
Froome was considered a favourite to earn a record-equalling fifth Tour victory until he crashed into a wall during a reconnaissance ride during the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France, at more than 50 kilometres per hour.
He was airlifted to St Etienne University Hospital having suffered multiple serious injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.
"I could barely even breathe after surgery," he said. "My lungs had been damaged by my broken ribs and my broken sternum.
"It was scary when I came around the morning after the operation and just felt how hopeless I was, lying in that bed."
Froome's mindset changed when told by doctors he could make a full recovery.
"That's all I wanted to hear at that point," he said. "From that point on, it felt like everyone was so positive."
Ineos managed to cope without him at the 106th Tour de France which finished last weekend with their rider Egan Bernal claiming a first-ever victory for Colombia.dpa