Chris Froome admitted he is lucky to be alive after speaking for the first time since his horror cycling accident.

The four-time Tour de France winner crashed at close to 35mph during his fourth-stage reconnaissance at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.

"I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race," said Froome in a post published on the Team Ineos website.

"Whilst this is a setback and a major one at that, I am focusing on looking forward. There is a long road to recovery ahead, but that recovery starts now and I am fully focused on returning back to my best."

The post was issued with a picture of Froome giving the thumbs up from his bed at the University Hospital of St Etienne, where he has been receiving treatment.

It has been reported that Froome suffered a fractured neck and faces six weeks in hospital. He also has a broken femur and broken ribs, and is not expected to compete again this year.