Klöden has back pains from crash, gets x-rays
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Klöden has back pains from crash, gets x-rays

by VeloNation Press at 6:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
RadioShack leader plans to continue in race

Andreas KlodenTeam RadioShack’s one remaining leader is having a less-than-ideal run-up to the Pyrenees, with Andreas Klöden suffering a back injury during yesterday’s ninth stage of the Tour de France. The German rider was one of many who went down in the crash of the Col du Pas de Peyrol, approximately 102 kilometres into the stage to Saint Flour.

While attention was focussed on Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma Lotto), Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervélo), all of whom were forced to drop out of the race, Klöden also had his own issues. He struggled onwards to the finish and conceded some time as a result. After the stage, he went to hospital for X-rays in order to eliminate the possibility of fractures.

“I think Garmin-Cervelo went very fast on the descent,” he recounted afterwards. “I was in a good position, I think maybe fifteenth from the front of the peloton. But they came in too fast to a left-hand corner and some guys crashed in front of me. I had no chance to stay on the road. I went off into the forest and fell down maybe 7-8 meters down the incline and I hit my lower back.

“Afterwards I had to ride and come back to the peloton which I did. But in the last kilometer uphill I couldn’t follow the last accelerations because I couldn’t stand up on the pedals. So I lost some time. It’s very painful.”

He crossed the line 24th on the stage, dropping eight seconds to the other general classification contenders as a result. He is now eighth overall, two minutes 43 seconds behind the new overall leader Thomas Voeckler.

The team has already lost two of its four protected riders; Jani Brajkovic and Chris Horner both went out due to crashes in the opening week. Levi Leipheimer has also been in the wars and has lost enough time to have declared that he will give full support to Klöden.

RadioShack will rue its bad luck, but one plus is that its injured captain has a chance now to try to recover. X-rays were clear, and he will do what he can to try to help his aches. “I think I have a big hematoma on the lower back. Tomorrow is a rest day and we have a good staff so I think they can fix me. For sure in the next few stages I will have pain. But we will try to continue,” he said.

Klöden will join the rest of the team on a training ride today. “I have to get on the bike. It’s better to spin the legs a little bit and also for my back, I think it’s better to keep going,” he said. “I hope to have a good night’s rest. I don’t think that will happen but tomorrow is the rest day and I hope to recover well.”

He has twice finished second overall in the Tour, in 2004 and 2006. He was fourteenth last year but has been riding more strongly this season.


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