June 14, 2004
Vinokourov out of the Tour de France
For the 2nd time in 3 years, Alexandre Vinokourov will miss the Tour de France after a fall in the Tour of Switzerland. Vinokourov crashed into a traffic island on Sunday, and suffered a concussion, facial scrapes, and ligament damage to his shoulder. The shoulder injury required surgery, which will keep him off the bike for 3 weeks — the 3 weeks leading up to the Tour.
Vinokourov was 3rd last year, behind Armstrong and Jan Ullrich, who joined Vinokourov's T-Mobile squad during the offseason. Some had wondered if the two riders could work together against Lance Armstrong, or if there would be intrasquad squabbling over who most deserved the team's support.
T-Mobile lost likely Tour starter Paolo Salvodelli of Italy to an injury in April.
T-Mobile director Mario Kummer:
"Vino will be a big loss. Now the team must come more closer together."
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