Chris Froome said on Friday he was “on the mend” after leaving hospital to return home to continue his recovery from the injuries he suffered in a horrific crash last month.

The four-time Tour de France winner will miss this year’s race, which starts in Brussels on Saturday.

Froome fractured his pelvis, right femur, several ribs and right elbow in a freak accident when a gust of wind ended his season while he had his hands off the handlebars during a practice run on June 12 at the Criterium du Dauphine.

“It’s a huge disappointment not to be @letour but I’m relieved to finally be out of the hospital and at home on the mend,” the 34-year-old wrote on Twitter.

“Here’s wishing @TeamINEOS all the best for the next three weeks.

“I’ll be following all the action from bed so make it a good one.”

Froome, who has won six Grand Tour titles in total, had said after the crash that he felt lucky to be alive.

Team Ineos, the successor to Team Sky with whom Froome won all of his yellow jerseys, have the two favourites for the 2019 Tour in reigning champion Geraint Thomas and Colombian youngster Egan Bernal.

Their team chief Dave Brailsford said Froome had been in good spirits when visited by many of his teammates on Thursday.

“Chris left hospital and even put his feet on the ground for the first time yesterday,” said Brailsford.

“He really is in remarkable spirits all things considered … He’ll bounce back and needs to concentrate on getting fit again.”

Welshman Thomas, who won the Tour for Team Sky last year, will lead the Ineos bid when the race gets under way.