Brailsford confident despite injuries

Sir David Brailsford is confident that Team Sky can deal with Edvald Boasson Hagen’s withdrawal from the Tour de France as they continue their bid to guide Chris Froome (1/10 favourite Tour de France outright) to glory.

The Norwegian was one of the victims of the late crash during Thursday’s stage between Fougeres and Tours, suffering a fractured shoulder blade and has now left the race.

This means Sky are now down to just seven riders, but three of these are currently suffering from their own ailments, with Geraint Thomas carrying a cracked pelvis, Ian Stannard a back problem and Peter Kennaugh who is still feeling the after effects of a heavy fall down a roadside embankment.

Boasson Hagen was influential in Bradley Wiggins’ victory in Le Tour last year and looked set to play a huge part in helping Froome remain safe when the race heads into the Alps next week.

The injury means the likes of Alberto Contador (20/1 Tour de France outright) and Alejandro Valverde (16/1) are likely to target the Team Sky leader but Brailsford is confident his remaining riders can deal with whatever is thrown at them in final week.

He told reporters: “It’s a real shame for Edvald and a real setback to the team because he’s a versatile rider of huge ability but I’m confident the riders we have left will pull together and see the race through. The plan doesn’t change.”

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