July 19, 2005
Klöden may withdraw with broken hand
T-Mobile's Andreas Klöden fell early on today's stage and injured his hand. X-rays this afternoon at a hospital in Pau showed a fracture, so team official say there's a chance he'll withdraw before tomorrow's start.
Klöden, 2nd in the overall last year, is sitting 11th overall, at 12:01.
Update: VeloNews.com has an AFP story that suggests T-Mobile's Matthias Kessler is also doubtful for Wednesday's Stage 17, after suffering a concussion in the crash with Klöden.
Klöden caught an unfair break (sorry about that, Chief!). He's been having a good TdF, and this is a disappointment. I hope he can still ride, but (depending on where the fracture is and how much damage continued use might cause) that might not be advisable. I'm a poor amateur cyclist. I put a lot of stress on my hands when I ride. I don't know if it's any better for the pros.
His loss is a loss to Ullrich and T-Mobile as well.
Posted by: Rob at Jul 19, 2005 4:23:01 PM
One hopes the fracture is such that a fiberglass cast might still allow him to ride - with all the huge-mountain stages over, it would be a shame for him to not be able to ride all the way to Paris. Just slap a cast on that sucker and duct-tape it to the handlebars... :P
Posted by: EWM at Jul 19, 2005 4:26:16 PM
On the lighter side of things, secretsofthepeloton.com reports that T-Mobile Circus Ober-Ringmeister Walter Godefroot has finally revealed the secret behind the T-Mob's relentless attack-dog strategy in the mountains:
"All along we've been saying that our leaders will be there in the critical last stages of the race and then will use their numerical supremacy to get dropped one by one. The genius of our tactics are their fluidity. Any one of our riders can be dropped at any time. Perhaps one day Ullrich will be dropped first, then another Vino will fall off the pace ... One thing is guaranteed: All our riders will be dropped, at some point, on each mountain stage. Just who will get dropped and when will only be known by us until we choose to roll-out the operation. Armstrong and the others will struggle to cope with the relentless dropping off the pace."
"When questioned about Oscar Sevilla's digestive problems as reported in a official Tour Medical Bulletin, Godefroot refused to suggest that these were connected to the problems that caused Sevilla to almost miss a whole season a couple of years ago.
"These problems are in no way connected to Oscar's earlier difficulties. The problems that affected Sevilla's bottom were all down to his well documented curry addiction and the stress that sort of diet puts on a cyclist's digestive system. I refute all accusations that he's back on the vindaloo's. T-Mobile is a curry free team. Their [sic] is no systematic consumption of Tandoori food here."
Love the accompanying rider photos, although the smiles do look a wee bit forced... ;)
Posted by: EWM at Jul 19, 2005 4:47:04 PM