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Chris Froome crash: Cyclist suffers this incredibly painful-looking bruise and wrist injury during accident on stage four of the Tour de France 2014

Froome touched wheels in the peloton to crash but was able to continue

Not an image for the squeamish amongst you.

Chris Froome was forced to go to hospital for a precautionary X-ray after crashing during stage four of the Tour de France today, suffering nasty bruises on his left hip, shoulder, knee and elbow and jarring his wrist.

The British defending champion fell five kilometres into the 163.5km ride from Le Touquet to Lille though he quickly got back on his bike after receiving medical attention from the race doctor.

"Chris landed on his hand and wrist," the Team Sky manager Sir Dave Brailsford said. "He felt fine in the final bit, good physically but we are going to send him for a precautionary x-ray to check his wrist."

Froome, who began the day fifth overall, two seconds behind the Italian Vincenzo Nibali, crashed on his left side during last month’s Critérium du Dauphiné race.

Video: Chris Froome on cycling through the Channel Tunnel

At the end of stage four the 29-year-old dropped to seventh in the overall rankings, behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) as the sprinter Marcel Kittel claimed a hat-trick of stage wins.