Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott
Chris Froome may have to undergo further surgery on his injuries sustained in a high-speed crash, according to the doctor who operated on him.
The four-time Tour de France winner was airlifted to hospital and has undergone surgery in a St Etienne hospital after suffering a broken right femur, broken elbow and broken ribs.
Rémi Philippot, the doctor who operated on the 34-year-old, told French newspaper Le Progres: "The operation lasted a long time, there were several traumas and he suffered multiple fractures.
"The cyclist should stay in hospital for several days... there are potential further operations to be done.”
Froome crashed during a practice ride prior to stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France, on Wednesday. The competition was part of Froome's preparation for the upcoming Tour de France in under four weeks time, which he has now been ruled out of.
Data collected from Team Ineos, who Froome rides for, shows that the cyclist was travelling at 33mph before coming to an abrupt halt after he crashed into the wall of a house.
Britain's most successful road cyclist fell unconscious during the collision and he was immediately ruled out of the Tour with a broken leg, but the further extent of his injuries was discovered after he arrived at hospital.
Sir Dave Brailsford, the general manager of Team Ineos, told BBC Sport Froome was "not in great shape".
He revealed Froome had taken his hand of the handlebars to blow his nose when wind caught the front wheel, causing him to hit a wall.
Froome had signalled to team mate Wout Poels he was going to blow his nose when wind blew him off course, leading him to crash into the side of a house.
Sir Dave said: "He's been operated on to make sure that first phase of medical care is as optimal as possible and we will manage it from there. It's an evolving situation.
"It is concerning, there is no doubt about that."
Froome's wife Michelle has been tweeting from his Twitter account, providing fans with updates on his condition.
She tweeted: "Chris is on his way to hospital after a high speed crash during the route recon earlier this afternoon, injuries are yet to be confirmed.
"I am awaiting information and transport to get to where he is and as soon as we have any information we will update you"
A spokesman for Team Ineos said on Wednesday: "Team Ineos can confirm that Chris Froome sustained multiple serious injuries during a recon of stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine today.
"The 34-year-old crashed towards the end of his route recon in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, sustaining injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.
"Froome has subsequently been ruled out of the rest of the race and will also miss the 2019 Tour de France."
Sir Dave added: "Our primary focus now is obviously on ensuring Chris gets the very best possible care, which he will do, so he can recover as soon as possible.
"One of our big strengths on this team is coming together in difficult moments, and we will ensure we do everything possible to support Chris and his family.
"Even though we all recognise the risks involved in our sport, it's always traumatic when a rider crashes and sustains serious injuries. Chris had worked incredibly hard to get in fantastic shape and was on track for the Tour, which unfortunately he will now miss."
Froome was eighth in the overall classification after three stages of the eight-day race, just 24 seconds behind leader Dylan Teuns, with fellow Briton Alex Yates now leading after the time trial stage.
The race was being used as part of Froome's build-up to this year's Tour de France, which starts on July 6.
Injury also scuppered Froome's Tour chances in 2014, although on that occasion his hopes ended on stage five of the race itself.
Racing as defending champion, he was forced to pull out following a third crash in two days, suffering a fractured left wrist and right hand.
Froome's absence means defending champion Geraint Thomas will now be Team Ineos' leader for the Tour. The Welshman is due to compete in the Tour de Suisse on Saturday.
Ineos can also call on 22-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal, who is back in training after the broken collarbone he suffered ahead of the Giro d'Italia.