Chris Froome suffers shock crash BEFORE the start of Giro d'Italia bid

The Team Sky rider went down heavily on the recon ride for the six-mile time trial in Jerusalem — putting a serious dent in his title hopes.

Froome, 32, suffered gashes on the right side of his body while his jersey and shorts were shredded in the impact — but he still managed to start the race.

Froome said: “A crash is always going to hurt but I’m just glad it wasn’t more serious. I saw what happened to Kosta Siutsou who is in hospital so I’m just glad I’m not more injured.”

Froome finished the rolling course a huge 37 seconds behind defending champ Tom Dumoulin and now faces a huge task to win the Giro and hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.

He rolled home in 21st spot in 12 minutes 39 seconds on a course where he was expected to stamp an early authority.

Dutchman Dumoulin, 27, powered round to take their first time-trial showdown in 12:02, winning the stage by two seconds.

Froome added: “He did a great ride, to come here and win out of the box like that is seriously impressive.”

Bury’s Simon Yates was the best placed Brit in seventh after he finished in 12:22.

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