ETC

Tour de France champion Chris Froome said on Tuesday that he had escaped unhurt while having his bike written off by an impatient car driver in a hit-and-run.

The 31-year-old three-time winner of the world's biggest bike race, tweeted a picture of the twisted remains of his "totaled" training bike, saying he had been deliberately knocked off by the driver.

The Team Sky rider said he was "OK" after the incident that happened during a training ride near his home in the south of France.

Sky News reported that it understood Froome would be reporting the incident to police.

"Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!", the Team Sky rider wrote, adding an emoji of hands clasped in prayer.

Team Sky said the Monaco-based Froome had continued his training session after returning home to get a spare bike.

Froome is training for June's Criterium du Dauphine, his familiar warm-up event before the Tour de France between July 1-23. He is favorite to win the event for a third successive year.

The incident was just another reminder of the continued perils faced by professional cyclists on the road during training rides.

It occurred less than three weeks since the death of 37-year-old Michele Scarponi, the former Giro d'Italia winner, who was struck by a van while training in Italy.

His team, Astana, described the death of Scarponi, a husband and father of two, as a "tragedy too big to be written."

Reporting by Ian Chadband

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