Chris Froome will miss the Tour de France after suffering a broken femur, elbow and ribs in a training crash.

The four-time Tour champion was taken to hospital on Wednesday following a crash before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome, 34, was taken to a local hospital after hitting a wall during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France, with team doctor Richard Usher confirming he also suffered a broken elbow.

"Chris was taken to Roanne Hospital where initial examinations confirmed multiple injuries, most notably a fractured right femur and right elbow. He has also suffered fractured ribs," Usher said in a statement.

Team Ineos said that Froome was being airlifted to St Etienne University Hospital for further treatment.

"On behalf of the team, I would like to commend the treatment he received from the emergency services and all at Roanne Hospital in assessing and stabilising him," he said.

Team manager Dave Brailsford had earlier confirmed that Froome would miss the Tour de France following the crash.

"It's a very serious accident. Clearly, he won't be at the start of the Tour de France. It'll take quite a long time before he races again," Brailsford told French television.

"He crashed in the downhill section of the course at high speed. He hit a wall."

Brailsford later added in the statement that the team's primary focus was ensuring that Froome gets the best care.

"One of our big strengths on this team is coming together in difficult moments, and we will ensure we do everything possible to support Chris and his family," he said.

"Even though we all recognise the risks involved in our sport, it's always traumatic when a rider crashes and sustains serious injuries.

"One of the things which sets Chris apart is his mental strength and resilience and we will support him totally in his recovery, help him to recalibrate and assist him in pursuing his future goals and ambitions."

Froome was eighth in the overall classification after three stages of the eight-day race, just 24 seconds behind leader Dylan Teuns.

The 34-year-old was using the race as part of his build-up to this year's Tour de France, which starts on 6 July.

The Tour is only three and a half weeks away and Froome's preparations this season had been built around peaking for the race as he looked to join an elite group of just four riders to have won five Tour titles.

British cyclist Adam Yates took the lead of the Criterium on Wednesday.

The stage four time-trial was won by Team Jumbo-Visma's Wout Van Aert but Yates did enough to take the yellow jersey and move into the overall lead.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider has a four-second lead over Dylan Teuns heading into Thursday's fifth stage.

Dan Martin was 20th in the time-trail, one minuted 38 seconds behind Van Aert while stage 3 winner Sam Bennett was 4'40 back in 117th.

Martin is 13th overall and Bennett 11th.