Chris Froome has been ruled out of the Tour de France with a suspected broken leg after a crash during the Criterium du Dauphine.
Team Ineos confirmed the Briton had come off his bike during a reconnaissance of the day’s ride and had withdrawn from the race.
A spokesman confirmed he suffered a suspected broken femur and was out of the Tour.
Froome’s wife Michelle said he was involved in a “high-speed crash” while scoping out the route for Wednesday’s time trial around Roanne.
Writing on her husband’s Twitter account, she said: “Chris is on his way to hospital after a high speed crash during the route recon earlier this afternoon, injuries are yet to be confirmed.”
Froome was eighth in the overall classification after three stages of the eight-day race, just 24 seconds behind leader Dylan Teuns.
The 34-year-old was using the race as part of his build-up to this year’s Tour de France, which starts on 6 July.
The Tour is only three and a half weeks away and Froome’s preparations this season had been built around peaking for the race as he looked to join an elite group of just four riders to have won five Tour titles.