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Hand, wrist fractures end Froome's Tour challenge

(Reuters) - Fractures to his left wrist and right hand forced 2013 champion Chris Froome out of the Tour de France race earlier this week, the Team Sky Rider said on Friday.

"MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R," Froome said on his Twitter feed.

Froome quit the race after the second of two crashes on Wednesday's rain-soaked fifth stage from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.

Although initial X-rays appeared clear, Froome underwent more sensitive scans for both of his arms to detect fractures, and found that both limbs were affected.

For Froome, Wednesday's crash was his second in two days.

He hurt his wrist and suffered bruises to his left side in a fall on stage four but was cleared to start Wednesday's stage which featured several treacherous cobbled sectors.   

The earlier fall on Wednesday was not too bad and he was helped back into the main bunch by his Sky team mates, but the second accident of the day proved one too many.

The 29-year-old's build-up to the raced was hardly ideal after a heavy crash last month on the Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome was the second high-profile rider to quit this year's Tour after fellow Briton Mark Cavendish suffered a high-speed crash in Saturday's opening stage bunch sprint in Harrogate.

Cavendish, winner of 25 Tour stages, underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday as a result of the crash.

(Reporting By Tony Goodson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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