French cyclist Thomas Voeckler yesterday collided with the back of a stationary car after it had stopped for a pedestrian.
The team had just arrived in Adelaide and were on their first training ride in preparation for the Tour Down Under, which is scheduled to start on Saturday.
“When we go to train this morning a pedestrian crossed the road so a car braked very quickly and I didn’t have time to brake and I bumped into the car,” Voeckler said. “I immediately understand that my collarbone is broken as it’s the third time it’s broken.
“After [the crash] thanks to the organisers we went immediately to the hospital and the X-ray picture showed it was broken so I have to go back to France and go to the hospital and see how much time it takes to go on the bike again.”
“It’s the first time in my career, fourteenth year as a professional, first time in my career I hit a car in training… that’s the way it is, it’s a pity. When it’s during a race you say to yourself it’s your job there are risks but when it’s stupid like this morning I crashed into a car, it’s not the car’s fault but it’s a stupid crash, a really stupid crash but that happens sometimes.”
Team Europcar Manager, Andy Flickinger, has said that the team will not replace Voeckler in the starting line-up and will start with the remaining six riders: Yukiya Arashiro, Perrig Quemeneur, Bjorn Thurau, Kevin Reza, Jerome Cousin and Angelo Tulik.
“Today the whole team is very disappointed that Thomas has had to give up before the start of the race,” said Flickinger.
Voeckler will fly to Nantes in France to resume treatment.