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Chris Froome asks doctors when he can start his rehabilitation as he comes round from surgery after high speed crash

The first thing cyclist Chris Froome wanted to know after undergoing surgery while in intensive care was how quickly he could begin his rehabilitation, the doctor who performed the surgery has told ITV News.

The four-time Tour de France winner was airlifted to hospital for surgery in a St Etienne hospital after suffering a broken right femur, broken elbow and broken ribs in a high-speed cycle crash.

Rémi Philippot, who performed surgery on the sportsman, told ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott: "I was very surprised this morning because he feels very good, he is totally conscious about the trauma.

"The first thing he wanted; he wanted to know if he can already begin the rehabilitation, so it's very surprising."

Mr Philippot explained how the champion cyclist's rehabilitation will likely take up to six months, but he added "there is no neurological lesions which is a very good point".

He said: "When there is no neurological lesions the rehabilitation is quicker."

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.

Chris Froome is Britain's most successful road cyclist. Credit: PA

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."

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.