Last Updated: 13/09/19 8:38am
Team Ineos cyclist Chris Froome wants to return to professional action before the turn of the year, following his horrific crash at the Criterium du Dauphine in June.
Froome was rushed to hospital by helicopter and underwent surgery for six hours after suffering a fractured vertebrae, leg, elbow and ribs, as well as losing four pints of blood after crashing into wall.
However, the four-time Tour de France champion is “on the road to recovery” and hopes to return to competitive cycling before January.
Froome told The Telegraph: “It would be great to be able to do some of those post-season events that I typically do in the off-season.
“Just to get back into the pro scene again. It would great if I could do something before January.
“I think so much of it goes back to basics. I’m going to have to train harder than I’ve ever trained before to get back there again.
“I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful to be on the road to recovery, I’m grateful that I’m able to recover. Now I’m going to give it everything.”
The 34-year-old admitted as soon as he woke up in hospital, he wanted to know the extent of his injuries so he could start plotting a return to get back on his bike.
Froome said: “I just wanted news on what the injuries were and what they meant for me going forward. I was hoping with all my will that this wasn’t the end of my career.”
“As soon as I was woken up the next morning after surgery, I mean, I knew it was serious. I woke up in ICU, but I needed to know that it was all reparable, that I would be able to make a full recovery.
“And the doctor told me that within minutes. From that point on, I accepted what happened and everything was about moving forward.”
Froome faced another setback in early September when he badly cut his thumb with a kitchen knife and had to have surgery to put the tendon in his left hand back together.
He revealed he suffered “no lasting damage” to the tendon and will now start preparing for a fifth Tour de France title next summer.
Froome added: “As for the Tour, a fifth Tour title was a big deal in itself. But going for a fifth title off what was potentially a career-ending crash, that would be even bigger.
“There were loads of people who came out after the crash and said ‘He’s done. He’ll never win another Tour.’ They only spur me on.”