Tour de France champion Chris Froome hurts wrist - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Tour de France champion Chris Froome hurts wrist

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena). Spectators watch the riders arrive for the start the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 163.5 kilometers (101.6 miles) with start in Le Touquet and finish in Lille, France, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena). Spectators watch the riders arrive for the start the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 163.5 kilometers (101.6 miles) with start in Le Touquet and finish in Lille, France, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
  • NationalMore>>

  • Beretta: Gun law forcing move out of Maryland

    Beretta: Gun law forcing move out of Maryland

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:22 GMT
    Beretta U.S.A. Corp. says concerns about a gun-control bill that passed in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.
    Beretta U.S.A. announced Tuesday that company concerns over a strict gun-control law enacted in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.
  • Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:19 GMT
    Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...
    Firefighters were making progress Tuesday in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control, with wetter weather bringing some relief but also raising concerns about flash flooding.
  • Supreme Court allows Arizona execution to proceed

    Supreme Court allows Arizona execution to proceed

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:09 GMT
    Attorneys for the state of Arizona have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow an execution planned for Wednesday to proceed, saying Joseph Rudolph Wood can't establish he has a First Amendment right to the...
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an Arizona execution to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs in the country.
By JAMEY KEATEN
Associated Press

LILLE, France (AP) - Back on the race's home turf after three days in England, the Tour de France faces a first possible shakeout Wednesday over the bone-rattling cobblestones in northern France.

Many riders dreaded the forecast for rain, meaning the stones will be slick.

Defending champion Chris Froome scuffed his left knee and elbow and injured his wrist Tuesday during Stage 4, a crash that couldn't have come at a worse time for him.

"Took quite a tumble today but I'll definitely be starting tomorrow with no serious damage," Froome said on Twitter: "It'll be a tough one for everyone on the cobbles!"

Astana team leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy kept the yellow jersey in what he called a "crazy race" - a 163.5-kilometer (101-mile) ride along the Belgian border. Froome and two-time champ Alberto Contador are among 20 riders trailing Nibali by two seconds.

KITTEL MAKES IT THREE

Marcel Kittel got his third stage victory in this Tour and the seventh of his Tour career on Tuesday. Unlike his wins in Stages 1 and 3, when he made victory look easy, Kittel won by a half-wheel length at the end of the ride from Le Touquet-Paris Plage to Lille Metropole.

Kittel, of the Giant-Shimano team, didn't celebrate this time, but panted. The gesture at the line came from runner-up Alexander Kristoff of Norway, who swatted the air in frustration after being beaten by the barreling German. French rider Arnaud Demare was third.

After a difficult day of crosswinds, pockets of rain-smattered roads, and jumpy nerves in the peloton, Kittel said: "It's never easy ... (I was) lucky just enough at the finish line."

THE CHAMP CRASHES

Minutes into the stage, Team Sky leader Froome went tumbling after one rider bumped another - like a succession of dominoes - who crossed the Briton's front wheel. He skinned his left knee, left elbow and hurt his left wrist, but got back on his bike. Clinging to the race doctor's car, he got bandaged and rejoined the pack. Then a teammate dropped back to get a splint at Sky's car, and pedaled it up to the ailing Froome.

Race doctor Florence Pommerie told French TV his injuries amounted to "essentially a few scratches."

Nibali, said his team informed him through his earpiece about Froome's mishap, and went back to see whether he was OK. Froome responded, "more or less," according to the Italian. The Sky leader went straight into the team bus and didn't speak to reporters after the stage.

Dave Brailsford, the Sky team boss, said Froome described feeling good at the end. Froome was undergoing X-rays after the stage, but the team didn't immediately comment on the results.

LOSE ENERGY AGAIN?

In the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race last month, Froome took a spill during a descent and banged up a hip, shoulder and elbow. The next day, he lost the race's yellow jersey to Contador - citing stiffness in his thighs and a loss of energy from the crash.

An aching wrist could mean pain ahead for Froome. The cobbles on Wednesday's 155.5-kilometers (97-miles) from Ypres, Belgium, to Arenberg Port du Hainaut, could make it difficult for him to keep his hands on the handlebars. It includes stretches of bumpy road familiar to riders of the famed Paris-Roubaix one-day classic.

"It's going to be a crazy stage for everyone tomorrow," said Philippe Mauduit, a sports director for Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo Bank team. "We'll do whatever we can to stay near the front to avoid getting involved in crashes or held up by any pileups but that's what everybody wants and therefore the pace will be extremely high."

Said Nibali: "Tomorrow, we just have to make it through the day. ... Let's hope it's not raining."

Before the fourth stage, 2010 winner Andy Schleck of Luxembourg dropped out because of an injury in a crash a day earlier. On Sunday, British sprinter Mark Cavendish quit the race after crashing in the final sprint in Stage 1 and damaging his right shoulder.

Kittel has already acknowledged that his job is easier without Cavendish in the race. The Giant-Shimano rider is not a threat for the yellow jersey: Kittel is not a good climber and lost nearly 20 minutes to Nibali in an up-and-down Stage 2.

Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler and Luis Mate, a Spaniard with Cofidis, jumped from the pack early in the stage, setting the pace. First Mate fell back and the Frenchman was overtaken by the pack with about 17 kilometers (10 miles) left.

___

Associated Press writer Greg Keller in Lille contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:23 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:23:22 GMT
    Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...
    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...
  • End comes for notorious Venezuelan vertical slum

    End comes for notorious Venezuelan vertical slum

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:21:33 GMT
    The first of thousands of squatters who transformed a half-built skyscraper into a vertical slum were moved out by armed police and soldiers Tuesday, marking the beginning of the end for the Tower of David's...
    The beginning of the end came for the world's tallest slum Tuesday as officials began evicting thousands of squatters from a haphazard community inside the half-built Caracas skyscraper known as the Tower of David.
  • US: No link to Russian gov't in plane downing

    US: No link to Russian gov't in plane downing

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:13:05 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...