Chris Froome is OUT of the Tour de France after suffering a broken leg when he crashed into a wall at 37mph while trying to blow his nose during a Criterium du Dauphine practice ride.
The Brit came off his bike during a reconnaissance of stage four in Roanne and was initially transferred to a local hospital, before being moved to a larger medical unit by helicopter.
Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford confirmed the 34-year-old was involved in a 'very serious accident' and that he believes he has 'a fracture of the femur'.
Brailsford said: 'He's had a bad crash actually. It sounds like he was at the foot of the descent, and it's obviously very gusty today, and he took his hands off the bars to blow his nose and the wind has taken his front wheel.
'He's hit a wall at 60kph (37mph) or something like that, he's got a bad fracture, he's badly injured and it sounds like he has a fracture of the femur, to be confirmed, he's not in hospital yet. He's just going to get airlifted to a hospital shortly, probably Saint Etienne, maybe Lyon.
'So, obviously, we're trying to manage that at the minute and make sure he's got the best care. In the meantime, we're obviously thinking about Michelle, his family and everybody else. Making sure that he's being given the best possible care.
'I think in these types of situations it's what happens in the next hour and a half is crucial so we'll be on that. In the meantime, we've got to keep on racing and I think that's part of the sport.'
Froome was hoping to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title next month, but that will now not be possible, leaving the team's hopes in the hands of Geraint Thomas.
Following Froome's accident, the first official update was given by Team Ineos on Twitter. They wrote: 'Team Ineos can confirm that Chris Froome crashed during a recon of stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine today.
'He is currently on his way to a local hospital and won't start today's fourth stage. We will provide a further update in due course.'
The 34-year-old was initially taken to the Centre Hospitalier de Roanne for X-rays and scans in the Roanne region of central France.
As Brailsford later confirmed, Froome was then transferred to a larger hospital by helicopter.
The Brit was planning to use the Criterium du Dauphine as a final preparation for the upcoming Tour de France, which takes place over three weeks from Saturday July 6 to Sunday July 28.
In fact, five of the last seven winners of the Dauphine have gone on to top the podium in Paris - three of those occasions being Froome himself.