Crash in opening kilometres of stage four on Tuesday leave Chris Froome with injuries ahead of Wednesday's key cobbles stage

Chris Froome crashed in the opening kilometres of the Tour de France‘s first stage back in France on Tuesday. Team Sky’s British leader fell after another rider appeared to swerve and hit his front wheel.

“They’re essentially a few scratches, but that’s got to hurt nevertheless,” race doctor, Florence Pommerie told French TV. “He also hurt his wrist, but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.”

The crashed happened as the peloton rolled out of Le Tourquet-Paris-Plage for the 163.5-kilometre stage to Lille. An unidentified rider shifted right and Froome fell to the left. Other riders avoided running into Froome, but the crash also involved Bauke Mollema (Belkin), Spanish champion Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) and Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge).

Television images showed Froome’s left hip bloody through ripped shorts. Sky Sports Director Nicolas Portal handed Vasil Kiryienka a splint to take to Froome for his right wrist.

“We were scared out of our wits, like everyone else, but after talking with him, everything seems okay. He hit the tarmac hard, but everything’s all right,” Portal explained.

“We gave him a splint and, of course, we’re taking things extra carefully now. I’m not superstitious, but this is one fall we could’ve done without.”

Froome fell around kilometre 18, after Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) went on the attack, and on the same side that he hit when he crashed in the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 13. That crash also left him with a bloody hip and affected his climbing when the race closed in the mountains.

Depending on how his body heals overnight, Froome could pay tomorrow when the race tackles the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.