Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome out of this year's event due to Covid-19

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome out of this year's event due to Covid-19

The 37-year-old - who won the event in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, was one of three riders not to start Thursday's 18th stage due to a positive Covid test, along with Imanol Erviti and Damiano Caruso.

Froome registered his best result since his devastating crash in 2019 when he finished third on stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez last week for Israel-Premier Tech.

After Wednesday's stage to Peyragudes, Froome was 26th in the general classification, one hour and 27 minutes behind Jonas Vingegaard in the yellow jersey.

The Brit said in a video message: "I'm really disappointed not to be able to roll into Paris and finish off this Tour de France.

"It's been an extremely special race for us as a team and for me personally as well as I've been finding my legs again. I want to thank everyone for all the support through this process.

"I'm going to head home now, switch off for a few days and refocus on being ready for the Vuelta a Espana later this season."

The Vuelta a Espana - which Froome has won twice, in 2011 and 2017 - runs between August 19 and September 11 this year.

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