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Chris Froome to return to Tour de France after three-year absence

Chris Froome to return to Tour de France after three-year absence
© Reuters
The 36-year-old fractured a femur, elbow and ribs in June 2019.

Four-time winner Chris Froome will return to the Tour de France for the first time in three years as road captain of the Israel Start-Up Nation team.

British rider Froome, champion in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, missed the last two editions of the race following a horror crash which threatened to end his career.

The 36-year-old fractured a femur, elbow and ribs in June 2019 after hitting a wall while training for the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

He will provide support for Canadian team leader Michael Woods, while the rest of ISN’s line-up is yet to be confirmed but is expected to include Irishman Dan Martin, a previous Tour stage winner.

“After two years away from the Tour de France, I can’t wait to get back. It has been an arduous journey since my crash but this has been one of my biggest motivations,” Froome said in a statement.

“I’ve been working tirelessly to get to where I am and, although my ambitions this year won’t be as leader, I hope to add my experience and support to the team as best I can as road captain.

“We have a strong contender in Michael Woods, and I look forward to giving my all for him and the team in the battle to Paris.”

The Tour begins in Brest on Saturday, June 26 and runs until Sunday, July 18.

Chris Froome last won the Tour de France in 2017
Chris Froome last won the Tour de France in 2017 (Adam Davy/PA)

Froome, who previously raced for Ineos Grenadiers, is a seven-time Grand Tour winner having also won the Vuelta a Espana in 2011 and 2017 and Giro d’Italia in 2018.

While his disappointing performance at this year’s Dauphine prompted some speculation he would miss the Tour for a third successive year, Froome has the support of ISN sports manager Rik Verbrugghe.

“As a four-time winner of the Tour, the value of his experience cannot be underestimated. It will be extremely useful for the team during the race,” said Belgian Verbrugghe.

“On a performance level, I believe that we will see another improvement from the Dauphine to the Tour after our recent training camp in the Alps. We hope to see Chris progress stage by stage throughout the race.”

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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