Voeckler speaks about fractured collarbone which rules him out of his first Santos Tour Down Under
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Voeckler speaks about fractured collarbone which rules him out of his first Santos Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under, Injury
Frenchman had supporting plate taken out of shoulder earlier this month

Thomas VoecklerHaving recently had a plate and screws removed from his right collarbone, Thomas Voeckler has fractured the same area again and is out of what would have been his first Santos Tour Down Under.

The 34 year old former Tour de France yellow jersey and 2012 King of the Mountains crashed into a stationary car on a training ride hours after arriving into Australia. He hit the ground and broke the same collarbone, thus ending his race before it even began.

Voeckler was taken to Sportsmed SA for assessment and later spoke about the situation.

“When we go to train this morning a pedestrian crossed the road so a car braked very quickly and I didn't have time to brake and I bumped into the car,” he said. “I immediately understand that my collar bone is broken as it's the third time it's broken.

“After, thanks to the organisers we went immediately to the hospital and the x-ray picture showed it was broken. So I have to go back to France and go to the hospital and see how much time it takes to go on the bike again.”

It is the third time that he has fractured the same collarbone. It was first damaged five years ago when he fell during Paris-Nice, and then last year it broke again when he crashed during the Amstel Gold Race.

He had the plate removed earlier this month, a decision that he and his team will now possibly regret as the area would still have been healing.

“It's been twelve days that the other plate was off (out) and it was okay but I must not crash on it,” he said. “There was a small risk and it's the first time in my career, 14th year as a professional, first time in my career I hit a car in training....that's the way it is, it's a pity.

“When it's during a race you say to yourself it's your job there are risks but when it's stupid like this morning I crashed into a car…it's not the car's fault but it's a stupid crash, a really stupid crash but that happens sometimes - this time it happens to me.”

He said that while he wasn’t in peak form, he was looking forward to the race. He said that he planned to race aggressively, get into breaks and to build his form for the later races. However now his attention will shift to recovery from his injury, and then to getting back on the bike.

It is not yet clear when he will be able to return.

His team has not brought a reserve rider to the race and as a result, it will start with six rather than seven riders. The others who will compete are Yukiya Arashiro, Perrig Quemeneur, Bjorn Thurau, Kévin Reza, Jérome Cousin and Angélo Tulik.

Team manager Andy Flickinger regrets what happened. “Today the whoie team is very disappointed that Thomas has had to give up before the start of the race,” he said. “It’s terrible for us because we were happy to be here in Australia and to participate in the race. We feel terrible for the organiser.

“We are thankful to the organiser Mike Turtur for taking care of Thomas today and for their support.”

Turtur had been looking forward to seeing the four-time Tour de France stage winner in the race. He is one of the best known Frenchmen in the peloton and also a consistent attacker and showman. Those displays would have earned him support from the fans, but instead they will have to hope that he returns another time.

“There were a lot of people looking forward to seeing Thomas in action as he has a strong fan base in Australia,” said Turtur. “But our first concern is for his welfare. We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery so he can resume racing.”


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