As expected, T-Mobile's 2004 Tour runner-up Andreas Klöden was forced to pull out of the race during today's 17th stage. He and team-mate Matthias Kessler were involved in a crash yesterday, both sustaining injuries. The latter suffered spinal pain and light concussion, but managed to get through today's stage, finishing 151st. However Klöden was not so fortunate, packing the race after 18 kilometres of racing.
X-rays taken yesterday showed that he had broken the navicular (scaphoid) bone in his wrist. Klöden, 11th overall, started today's stage with a large cast on his arm and the team hoped that this would be sufficient. "The navicular bone has now been set in a special plaster. We have to see, how Andreas fares today," said team doctor Stefan Vogt, before the race. However, severe pain and difficulty in holding the handlebars made it impossible to get to the finish in Revel.
Klöden will return to Germany and undergo further X-rays there. The team are hoping that it will be possible to pin the bone, thus expediting the healing process. If not, the slow healing rate of the scaphoid may bring about an early end to his season.