Seriously injured Froome out of Tour de France -- team chief

Chris Froome interatcs with fans at Criterium du Dauphine

Chris Froome interatcs with fans at Criterium du Dauphine

The four-time Tour champion was taken to hospital after hitting a wall at high speed during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France.

But Froome's team principal Brailsford's somber tone suggested the implications may go further.

Britain's four-times Tour de France victor Froome will not start next month's race after sustaining a "bad fracture" following a heavy crash, Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said.

Brailsford says Froome was riding in gusty winds and seemed to lose control of his front wheel when trying to clear his nose.

"He's had a bad crash actually, it sounds like he was at the foot of the descent", Brailsford said.

The Tour de France starts July 6 in Brussels.

"Chris was taken to Roanne Hospital where initial examinations confirmed multiple injuries, most notably a fractured right femur and right elbow". "The ambulance came quickly, he's been taken care of and waits for a helicopter to be transferred to Lyon or Saint-Etienne".

"It's a very serious accident".

With Thomas expected to race at the Tour de Suisse next week and Egan Bernal on the road to recovery after an injury that ruled him out of the Giro d'Italia, Froome faced some serious competition for the lead role at Ineos in this year's Tour de France. The Tour de France won't be the same without him. Long-time Froome teammate Geraint Thomas is the defending champion.

Team Ineos confirmed in a statement that the four-time Tour de France victor had come off his bike during a reconnaissance of the day's ride and had withdrawn from the race.

This year has been disappointing for Froome.

The Kenyan born Froome, who at his best combines top level time-trialing skills with a fearsome prowess for climbing, first won the Tour in 2013 with Team Sky.

He would have been chasing the victory that would have seen him equal the record five Tour de France wins of Jacques Anquetil, Eddie Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.