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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at the start
Broken collarbone rules out TDU appearance
This story has changed from its original version following updates on Thomas Voeckler's crash
X-rays have revealed that French cyclist Thomas Voeckler has broken his right collarbone after crashing earlier today whilst on a training ride near the Adelaide beach-side suburb of Glenelg.
The 34-year-old arrived in Adelaide this morning with his Europcar team mates for the Tour Down Under and at midday they headed out for a short ride. During the ride Voeckler accidentally crashed into a stationary car and was taken to Sportsmed SA and as a result of the crash will fly home to France tomorrow.
"When we went out training this morning and a pedestrian crossed the road so a car braked very quickly and I didn't have time to brake so I bumped into the car," said Voeckler. "I immediately knew that my collarbone was broken as it's the third time I have broken it.
"After (the crash) thanks to the organisers we went immediately to the hospital and the x-ray showed it was broken so I have to go back to France and the hospital and see how much time it takes to get on the bike again."
Voeckler fractured the same collar bone for the first time in 2009 in a stage of Paris-Nice race and again in a race crash during the Amstel Gold Race in April last year. That crash ended his 2013 Spring Classics campaign and only underwent a minor operation earlier this month to remove the metal plate that was put in after the Amstel Gold crash.
"It's been 12 days since the other plate was removed and it was okay but I must not crash on it," said Vockler. "There was a small risk and it's the first time in my career, 14th 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 - this time it happened to me."
Voeckler, the winner of four stages and the 2012 king of the mountains jersey at the Tour de France, was looking forward to his debut appearance in the Santos Tour Down Under.
"I was really happy to spend two weeks here even if my shape is not 100 percent," Voeckler said. "When I am racing somewhere I always try to attack or take a breakaway, that was my goal this time and to train for the season (but) now I have to take time to get better and we'll see step-by-step."
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, says it's disappointing but wished Voeckler a speedy recovery.
"There were a lot of people looking forward to seeing Thomas in action as he has a strong fan base in Australia but our first concern is for his welfare and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery so he can resume racing," said Turtur.
Team Europcar Manager, Andy Flickinger, says the team will not replace Vockler in the starting lineup and will start with the remaining six riders Yukiya Arashiro, Perrig Quemeneur, Bjorn Thurau, Kévin Reza, Jérome Cousin, Angélo Tulik.
"Today the whole team is very disappointed that Thomas has had to give up before the start of the race," said Flickinger. "It's terrible for us because we were happy to be here in Australia and to participate in the race and we feel terrible for the organiser.
"We are thankful to the organiser and to Mike Turtur for taking care of Thomas today and for their support," he said.French cyclist Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has been taken to Sportsmed-SA after crashing earlier today whilst on a training ride near the Adelaide beach-side suburb of Glenelg. It's understood Voeckler accidentally collided with a stationary vehicle during a ride with his team shorty after arriving in Adelaide and broke his right collarbone. Voeckler is expected to be flying back to France on Thursday.