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Phonak's Victor Hugo Pe¤a is in danger of missing the Tour de France after a crash during the early kilometres of Paris-Roubaix left him with cracks in two vertebrae. The Colombian hit the deck after just 20km of racing when another rider crossed in front of him. He is still in Roubaix hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.
The Colombian, who led the Tour for three days in 2003, admitted "I am worried about whether I will be able to ride the Tour. I have to wait two weeks to see what happens with the injury. Only then will we be able to work out a plan of action." The former US Postal rider will have to wear a corset for the next three to four weeks to support the damaged vertebrae.
He is expected to return home to Colombia at the end of this week and is hoping to be able to ride the Tour of Colombia and the Dauphin Libr in order to regain condition before the Tour de France.
- Shimano neutral service car driver Paul de Baerdemaeker, who was suspended from that role yesterday following last week's controversial finish to Ghent-Wevelgem, says he knows nothing about the furore that appears to be swirling around him.
Speaking the Belgian press, De Baerdemaker said he knew nothing about a fine being imposed on him by the UCI, nor about any sanction from Shimano. During the incident which saw Nico Mattan 'helped' back up to race leader Juan Antonio Flecha in the final kilometre, the Shimano neutral service car driver says he was simply stuck in behind the race director's car and didn't know what was happening around him.
"What is someone had punctured in the last kilometre? What would they have said then?" wondered De Baerdemaeker. "We stayed with the leader and suddenly Mattan bolted past. He didn't come from behind my car, but there were a fair number of motorbikes around him. Mattan went by and I stayed behind the race director's car. I've read that I will be receiving a fine, but up to now I've seen nothing. I think everyone should shut up about this. In a situation like this no one is to blame, everyone is trying to do their best."
- Andreas Kloeden is set to rearrange his training programme after receiving the results of physiological tests he underwent following his withdrawal from last week's Tour of the Basque Country. "Andreas' test results are not bad at all," said T-Mobile team doctor Andreas Schmid. "Based on these insights, we will now alter his training programme - in our opinion, the deficit can be quickly eliminated."
Kloeden's race schedule will not be changed. "He is on our roster for Flche Wallonne on April 20 and after that for Lige-Bastogne-Lige as planned," said T-Mobile DS Mario Kummer.
Kloeden will spend the period up to then training in Switzerland, assisted by his coach, Thomas Schediwie. "I'm glad the test is behind me. Now I know on what I need to work on," said Kloeden, who finished as runner-up in the Tour de France last year.