Chris Froome has undergone successful surgery to remove metalwork from his hip and elbow as he continues his recovery from several serious injuries.

Four-time Tour de France champion Froome has been out of action since June, after he sustained a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs in a crash on a training run for the Criterium du Dauphine.

The 34-year-old underwent emergency surgery in France before beginning his recovery, with Team INEOS providing a video update on Froome's progress in August.

Froome, who is hopeful of participating in the 2020 Tour de France, confirmed on social media in September that he was back on the road, subsequently taking part in the time trial event at the Saitama Criterium, alongside team-mate and 2019 Le Tour champion Egan Bernal.

On Friday, Froome provided a further update, revealing he has had the surgery required to remove the metalwork from his body had been a success.

"Less (sic) some hardware from my hip and elbow," Froome tweeted. "Feeling groggy but all went perfectly."

Mark Cavendish said he has achieved a "long-held ambition" by joining Team Bahrain Merida for the 2020 season.

Cavendish's future has been the subject of much speculation since he was overlooked by Dimension Data for the Tour de France this year.

The 34-year-old sprint star  - winner of 48 Grand Tour stages with 30 in the Tour - has been confirmed as a new recruit for the joint venture between the Kingdom of Bahrain and McLaren.

Cavendish will be reunited with his former coach Rod Ellingworth, Bahrain's team principal, and joins Mikel Landa, Wout Poels and Dylan Teuns in an impressive line-up.

"Joining this team is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition for me and is super exciting and motivating. You could even say a dream come true," said Cavendish.

"Having worked closely with McLaren in the past, and seen the benefits of their technology and processes, this was an opportunity I jumped at.

"My relationship with Rod goes way back, and he's been instrumental in helping me develop as a rider and a person.

"I can't wait to join my new team-mates and do everything I can to help us achieve the successes I know will come."

Ellingworth said: "Mark's signing completes our rider roster for 2020 and gives us the balance the team needs to win. Mark is a proven champion and has a lot to contribute – both on and off the bike.

"Having last worked with him at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Qatar World Championships, I've been delighted to see that his energy and determination to succeed are greater now than ever. We're going to do everything in our power to enable him to perform at his best."

Team Sunweb's teenage rider Edo Maas is unlikely to walk again after breaking his back following a collision with a car this month.

The 19-year-old Dutchman was rushed to hospital in Milan after suffering severe injuries in an accident on the descent of the Madonna del Ghisallo during the Piccolo Lombardia.

Maas underwent multiple operations this week but has lost the feeling in both of his legs.

A statement from Maas' family said: "Edo is now fully conscious and has been awake for a couple of days, and responds well to family and visiting team-mates. The fractures to his back and the injuries on his face required multiple intensive surgeries over the last week, all of which were successful.

"Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs. At this moment it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails.

"At this stage no further information on Edo's condition is available. We ask to respect Edo and the family's privacy, as they process this difficult news. Another update will be provided when necessary."

Chris Froome has described next year's Tour de France route as "brutal" after organisers revealed details of the race on Tuesday.

With five mountain ranges and only one time trial - on the penultimate stage - the course would seem to suit climbers such as French riders Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe, as well as Egan Bernal, Froome's Team INEOS colleague and the reigning champion.

Froome, who missed the 2019 Tour having suffered fractures to his femur, elbow and ribs in June, noted how tough the 21-stage course was for 2020 while admitting it should suit most of the challengers for the yellow jersey.

"It's a brutal, brutal course, but good," said four-time Tour de France champion Froome.

"I think it's going to be a really explosive race and very much in favour of the [best climbers of] mountains. But I think that's great, it gives a lot of opportunities for the general classification to be played out.

"That's what everyone wants to see, everyone wants to see a big battle between the rivals.

"For the riders as well, I think it's great because it gives a lot of opportunities to try to make the race and to try to win."

In Froome's absence last year, defending champion Geraint Thomas was expected to be INEOS' lead rider, but it was Bernal who surprisingly emerged to claim a first title.

The team could have three Tour champions on the line at the Grand Depart in Nice next June, yet Froome is more concerned with focusing on his fitness before considering his leadership credentials.

"We've got an amazing line-up, an amazing roster of riders to select from, but nothing is decided yet," Froome said.

"I have obviously to get myself back to that level before even discussing leadership or anything like that.

"At least for now everything is going in the right direction, I'm optimistic."

Cycling's top climbers appeared to receive a major lift after a mountainous route for the 2020 Tour de France was revealed on Tuesday.

Riders will be go through the five mountain ranges of the Alps, Pyrenees, Vosges, Jura and Massif Central after the Grand Depart in Nice on June 27.

They will visit three of France's mountain ranges in the first eight days and will be climbing from as early as day two, with the only time trial coming on the last competitive stage from Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles before the ceremonial ride into Paris.

There will be no return to the Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux, but the Col de la Madeleine and the Grand Colombier will be tackled.

The route should suit Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe when they attempt to end a long wait for a French rider to win the most prestigious Grand Tour race, which was won by Egan Bernal this year.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: "There are 29 mountains, it will be physically challenging throughout.

"Even the so-called flat stages will be very tough for the pure sprinters. There are traps everywhere along the route."

 

Route for the 2020 Tour de France

June 27 - Stage 1: Nice - Nice (156km)

June 28 - Stage 2: Nice - Nice (187km)

June 29 - Stage 3: Nice - Sisteron (198km)

June 30 - Stage 4: Sisteron - Orcieres-Merlette (157km)

July 1 - Stage 5: Gap - Privas (183km)

July 2 - Stage 6: Le Teil - Mont Aigoual (191km)

July 3 - Stage 7: Millau - Lavaur (168km)

July 4 - Stage 8: Cazeres-sur-Garonne - Loudenvielle (140km)

July 5 - Stage 9: Pau - Laruns (154km)

July 6 - Rest day in Charente-Maritime

July 7 - Stage 10: Ile d'Oleron - Ile de Re (170km)

July 8 - Stage 11: Chatelaillon-Plage - Poitiers (167km)

July 9 - Stage 12: Chauvigny - Sarran (218km)

July 10 - Stage 13: Chatel-Guyon - Puy Mary (191km)

July 11 - Stage 14: Clermont-Ferrand - Lyon (197km)

July 12 - Stage 15: Lyon - Grand Colombier (175km)

July 13 - Rest day in Isere

July 14 - Stage 16: La Tour-du-Pin - Villard-de-Lans (164km)

July 15 - Stage 17: Grenoble - Meribel (168km)

July 16 - Stage 18: Meribel - La Roche-sur-Foron (168km)

July 17 - Stage 19: Bourg-en-Bresse - Champagnole (160km)

July 18 - Stage 20: Lure - La Planche des Belles Filles (36km individual time trial)

July 19 - Stage 21: Mantes-la-Jolie - Paris (122km)

Chris Froome can see "light at the end of the tunnel" as he prepares for a return to competitive cycling, while a former team-mate has tipped him to win the Tour de France again in 2020.

Team INEOS rider Froome is back in the saddle again after sustaining fractures to his right femur, elbow and ribs during a high-speed crash in June at the Criterium du Dauphine. 

The 34-year-old, a four-time winner of the Tour de France, has posted training pictures on Twitter, including a black-and-white shot on Monday that was taken by Team INEOS colleague Michal Kwiatkowski.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel," wrote Froome, who is scheduled to make his racing comeback at the Saitama Criterium exhibition event in October.

A record-equalling fifth Tour de France title is the long-term target, as confirmed in a video interview released in August by Team INEOS.

And Bradley Wiggins is confident Froome can draw level with Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain at the top of the list by triumphing in Le Tour next year.

"Nothing would surprise me with him," he said on 'The Bradley Wiggins Show' podcast. "I think he will win the Tour next year.

"He is an amazing athlete and the drive he has got, I think he almost needed something like this to drive him and push him on."

Rigoberto Uran is "slowly getting better" following his heavy crash at the Vuelta a Espana - but it is still not clear when the Colombian will be back on a bike again.

The EF Education First rider - seen as a contender for this year's Vuelta title after finishing seventh at the Tour de France - suffered a broken collarbone, fractured ribs, scapula, vertebrae, and a contusion to the lung following a pile-up on stage six.

Uran spent 20 days in a Barcelona hospital following the incident, though he is now back at his home in Monaco as he continues to undergo physiotherapy to aid his recovery.

He is still unable to fly to Colombia, though, having had a plate inserted that runs the entire length of his collarbone, as well as another in his left shoulder, and could yet require further surgery.

"Everything is good. I'm slowly getting better," Uran told his team's official website.

"I'm in Monaco at the moment, but I will have to return to Barcelona at the beginning of October, around the 10th, for an examination with my surgeon, Dr Mir. I will have to have another x-ray to see how everything is healing and if there will need to be another operation."

"After I have the examination with the doctors in Barcelona I will know more about when I can head back [to Colombia]. 

"At the moment, I'm not able to take a long-haul flight while everything is still recovering, it makes everything a little more complicated."

Doctor Rick Morgan, who worked with the EF Education First team at the Vuelta, is confident Uran will make a full recovery, although there is no timetable for a return to the saddle.

"Rigo is doing really well," he said. "His pain is controlled and he's doing regular physiotherapy. He's doing what we call passive and active physiotherapy with a therapist and then on his own at home.

"The main focus is working on returning a full-range of motion to the shoulder and then working on his strength.

"There is certainly no hurry in getting him back on a bike, especially at this time of year, but we are not worried that he won't make a full recovery."

A grateful Uran also thanked those who have offered their support since the accident, adding: "People taking time to write messages to me, it was such an amazing flow of good energy. This kind of thing really helps me a lot, it gives you so much motivation when you're trying to recover."

Mads Pedersen clinched the UCI World Championship title in stunning fashion with a scintillating sprint finish at the culmination of a gruelling men's elite road race.

With favourites such as Peter Sagan, Julian Alaphilippe and Alejandro Valverde having fallen off the pace throughout a shortened 262km route due to adverse weather, it was youngster Pedersen who triumphed against the odds in Harrogate.

Matteo Trentin looked in prime position with 200m to go, but made his move too early, with Pedersen jumping straight onto his rivals' wheel before bursting off to secure a first-ever road race gold for a Danish rider.  

Trentin followed in second with Stefan Kung completing the podium - three-time champion Sagan, who had made a late push off the front of the peloton, coming over in fifth after Gianni Moscon, who dropped off the leading pack with six kilometres remaining.

"Unbelievable! We didn't expect this when we started this morning. At first [the aim] was to survive, survive, survive," the 23-year-old Pedersen told BBC Sport.

"When I saw the finish line I hoped the pain would be gone and I could do a good sprint. After six-and-a-half hours on the bike there is not much left.

"You have to be focused and stay in front. Don't get any bad luck. It's every rider's dream to wear that jersey. For me to do it now is unbelievable."

Defending champion Valverde abandoned the race with more than 50km remaining, telling Spanish media: "It's a world championship for mad men."

Another favourite cracked with 12km to go, Mathieu van der Poel finally deciding he could no longer keep pace with the lead group, which was soon trimmed to four when Moscon gave up his chance for a medal. 

Tao Geoghegan Hart came in as the leading British rider, finishing 26th, while Geraint Thomas finished far out of contention in Yorkshire.

Annemiek van Vleuten's stunning solo ride secured UCI World Championships gold in the women's road race on Saturday.

Van Vleuten made her move with over 100 kilometres to go but nobody could reel the 36-year-old back in as she finished 2 minutes, 15 seconds ahead of her nearest rival in Harrogate.

Her decision to break away with around two-thirds of the race still remaining was a bold one but it paid dividends in the form of a first world road title. 

Last year's winner Anna van der Breggen took second to make it a Dutch one-two, while Amanda Spratt also dropped down a spot from 2018 to complete the podium.

There was also a fourth-placed finish for time-trial champion Chloe Dygert-Owen.

Van Vleuten's brave strategy transformed the pattern of the race as the peloton struggled to come up with a strategy to narrow the gap.

With back-to-back time trial world titles under her belt, Van Vleuten's winning mentality was evident in the sheer determination of her ride over the 149.4km route in Yorkshire.

She took advantage of a disjointed chasing pack to open up a lead that proved unassailable, affording her the equivalent of a victory lap over the closing stages.

Rohan Dennis put his Tour de France exit behind him by successfully defending his time trial title at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.

The Australian abandoned the Tour on stage 12 for reasons that remain unexplained.

That led to speculation over whether the 29-year-old would continue in the sport. However, Dennis was in dominant form on Wednesday.

He was comfortably the quickest on the 54.1 kilometre ride from Northallerton to Harrogate, crossing the line in one hour, five minutes and five seconds.

Remco Evenepoel was 68 seconds off the pace in second while Filippo Ganna (+1.55) completed the podium.

"It didn't go [like that] without a lot of preparation. A lot of time at home, a lot of work on my head, to get myself mentally prepared today," Dennis told BBC Sport.

"There are a lot of people to thank. I knew what pace I went out with last year, and I just stuck on that. I knew I was 20 seconds up at the first check, and I knew I had more to give. It was absolutely perfect today.

"Look, it's been a tough year, obviously there's been a lot of talk since the Tour de France about what I'm doing, but this was really special.

"It meant a lot to come here and really defend this title. I haven't hung the bike up, I am still here to race, I am still to here to win, and I've got a lot more to give in this sport."

Chloe Dygert raced to a huge victory in the women's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire on Tuesday.

Rain delayed the start of the event in Ripon, but the wet conditions could not put a dampener on Dygert's stunning success.

Annemiek van Vlueten​ had won the previous two editions of the race and the Dutch team had been expected to contend again. However, they were unable to match the American.

Dygert finished the 32-kilometre route in an astonishing time of 42 minutes and 11.57 seconds, more than three minutes faster than Alena Amialiusik​, who led beforehand.

Neither Van Vlueten​, who finished in third, nor team-mate Anna van der Breggen​, the silver medallist for a third consecutive year, got close to toppling that effort, with the latter one minute and 32.35 seconds adrift.

Dygert reflected to BBC Sport: "I really prepared very well for this. We took this year and just worked towards the race.

"I had my concussion last year so we had to take this slow and now we're looking forward to Tokyo [the 2020 Olympics]."

The British contingent did not fare so well at home, with Alice Barnes 16th and Hayley Simmonds 26th.

Simmonds, third at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said: "I found it a little bit difficult. I heard rumours [the UCI] might cancel it but carried on my preparations.

"I had just finished the warm-up when I heard there was a delay. It throws you because you time your warm-up, caffeine intake and everything else to your start time. I wish they had postponed it to tomorrow.

"I wasn't sure what to do. I've never been in the situation before where I've started my preparations and there's been a delay."

In the men's under-23 individual time trial, Mikkel Bjerg to the gold medal for the third successive year.

Jamaican cyclist Dahlia Palmer has climbed to number 25 in the UCI Olympic Ranking in the Keirin event, according to the most recent rankings.

Vuelta a Espana champion Primoz Roglic was delighted to share the podium with compatriot Tadej Pogacar in Madrid on Sunday.

Roglic sealed his first Grand Tour title and the first for any Slovenian as he finished two minutes and 33 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde as the race finished in the Spanish capital.

Pogacar, who won Saturday's penultimate stage, came in third and it thrilled both riders to see the strides made in Slovenian cycling.

"It's a great feeling to win this race, and to be accompanied by another Slovenian is even better," Roglic said. "It's really nice for our cycling. We're writing a bit of history."

Pogacar added: "It's incredible with lots of fans from Slovenia and my family. It's crazy to be on the podium of La Vuelta with everyone."

Roglic was asked if he could now use his Vuelta success as a platform for further Grand Tour victories.

"I'll only know once I finish my career," he replied. "But to win one Grand Tour is already a nice achievement."

Primoz Roglic became the first Slovenian to win a Grand Tour event as he triumphed at the Vuelta a Espana following Sunday's final stage in Madrid.

Despite crashing on stage 19, the 29-year-old took a lead of two minutes and 50 seconds over 39-year-old Alejandro Valverde into the106.6 kilometre procession from Fuenlabrada into the centre of the Spanish capital.

Valverde finished second overall, while Roglic's compatriot Tadej Pogacar came third following a stunning ride through the mountains that saw him win the penultimate stage 24 hours earlier.

Fabio Jakobsen got his second stage win of the 2019 event, edging out Sam Bennett after a thrilling sprint over the final three kilometres.

Roglic crossed with the peloton to celebrate a memorable double triumph, the Jumbo-Visma rider also finishing 19 points clear of Pogacar in the race for the green jersey.

Pogacar was top of the youth standings ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez, as Geoffrey Bouchard was crowned King of the Mountains.

With the leaders traditionally not challenged during the final stage, Roglic enjoyed a moment alongside his team-mates and shared a beer with his fellow podium-finishers in the ride into the centre of Madrid.

Daniel Martinez and Diego Rubio broke away from the pack with 43km to go but were caught on the penultimate lap of the inner-city circuit.

A packed chase for the line saw Jakobsen and Bennett separated by a photo finish, as the top 43 all finished with the same time.

 

Primoz Roglic became the first Slovenian to win a Grand Tour event as he triumphed at the Vuelta a Espana following Sunday's final stage in Madrid.

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