Voeckler gets some good news about injury, might be able to ride Tour de France after all
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Voeckler gets some good news about injury, might be able to ride Tour de France after all

by Shane Stokes at 5:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Frenchman needs to take a week’s complete rest but knee problem not too serious

Thomas VoecklerThere’s some good news for supporters of Thomas Voeckler and aggressive racing in general who were disappointed by his fears that he might have to miss the Tour de France; last year’s Maillot Jaune wearer and fourth-placed rider has been told that he might be able to compete in the race after all.

The Europcar rider withdrew from both the Critérium du Dauphiné and last week’s Route du Sud as a result of a knee problem, and admitted he was fearful that his participation in this year’s Tour might be out of the question.

However a MRI scan carried out today has given him encouragement, as it appears that the injury is not so serious as to rule him out of action. He’ll miss the championships, but could well be racing in cycling’s top event.

"I am hopeful for the Tour,” a relieved Voeckler told Ouest France after he got the results of his scan. “I have an inflammation of the iliotibial tract, that is to say, the outside of the knee. I have to take a week off without cycling.” After that, he should be able to resume and to travel to Liege for the Tour start on June 30th.

One drawback is that he wont be as sharp as he had intended, but he’ll hope to settle in as the race progresses. “This is detrimental to the preparation for the Tour, but I will be fresh, without being in top condition because I will only have three days of cycling in the legs before the start.” Still, depending on how his body responds, he could click as the race progresses. What’s important is that he is there, doing what he can and helping to lead the team.

Voeckler is a virtual national hero, both due to his aggressive spirit and also his two long career stints in yellow. He held the yellow jersey for ten days in 2004 and again for a similar period of time last year; on both occasions, he fought above expectations to retain the Maillot Jaune and impressed with his tenacity.

He ended up fourth last year but could well have taken third – or possibly even second – overall had he not made a tactical error on the final mountain stage to Alpe d’Huez.

At the time he pledged to return to try to fight for a top three finish but now, almost a year later, he’ll revert to his stage hunting role if his legs and his fitness permits. He might not wear yellow, but his presence should shake things up and add an extra element of unpredictability to the race.


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