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Andreas Kloeden, second overall in the 2004 Tour de France, quit this year's race just 16 kilometres into today's 17th stage, from Pau to Revel. The T-Mobile rider crashed yesterday, on the road from Mourenx to Pau, yet still managed to make it to the finish of the stage, despite pain in his wrist.
Although he signed on for today's stage, it was soon evident that he would be unable to continue, as the peloton picked up speed, shortly after leaving the Barnaise capital.
"He's broken his scaphoid," confirmed T-Mobile team doctor Lothar Heinrich. "Andreas had an x-ray in Pau last night. He wanted to start the stage but couldn't carry on because of the pain and the internal bleeding, so he will have to go to Freiburg for more x-rays.
"On the basis of that," explained Heinrich, as Kloeden headed back to his team hotel before flying home to Germany, "they will decide if they can operate. If they can, he will be training maybe after 10 days; if not, the scaphoid takes a long time to heal and that will be the end of his season."
- Despite having only two riders in the peloton, Michael Rasmussen and Nicki Sorensen, the Danes are still embracing the Tour. Compared to last year, Rasmussen, Bjarne Riis and co have attracted an eight per cent rise in TV viewing for the direct transmissions, with an audience share of 69 per cent. Compared to the low point in 1999, the number of viewers has risen by 66 per cent, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"We have to say thanks to Michael Rasmussen. His results have probably helped the viewing along," John Jger, editor in chief on Danish TV2, tells procycling. He editor also puts emphasis on the fact that CSC is a Danish team. "In the absense of Danes we've developed a relationship with the other riders on the CSC team," he says.
Jger, however, believes that the viewing will grow further once Lance Armstrong has retired. "From our point of view it's not an advantage that Armstrong is so strong. I personally think that the interest will grow even more when he's gone," says the editor in chief with reference to what seems to be a much more open race next year.
- Dutch rider Tristan Hoffman will become a sports director for Team CSC. "I want to expand the organisation and it's not easy to find what I would like to have, but Tristan is very keen, he knows the team and its philosophy, so it'll be very interesting," says team manager Bjarne Riis, who describes Hoffman as "very well liked and a man who can take responsibility."
35-year-old Hoffman, runner-up in the 2004 edition of Paris-Roubaix, broke his leg in Het Volk in February and had been working on a comeback. However, during the spring he realised that it wasn't working out and began talking to Riis about another solution and following the team time trial in Eindhoven he received the offer he has now accepted. Hoffman will start as a 'learner' in the Benelux Tour and will take on his new job in the Tour of Spain.
Shorts: Kloeden, Danes, HoffmanClose
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