Valverde may retire from Tour

White jersey wearer Alejandro Valverde's will start today's 13th stage of the Tour, but may withdraw...

White jersey wearer Alejandro Valverde's will start today's 13th stage of the Tour, but may withdraw from the race if his knee problems persist. The Illes Balears rider won the tenth stage to Courchevel, moving to fifth place overall, but began to experience knee pain on the same day of the race. The condition has persisted since then.

Team director Eusebio Unzúe said that he was hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic, that he will be able to continue. "It is worth taking a risk (if the problem persists). Today's stage is flatter and easier but instead of going at 50 kilometres per hour they will be doing 70. If the problems persist, Alejandro will abandon today. I am not very optimistic."

Illes Balears do have some consolation in that Paco Mancebo is eighth overall, 4 minutes down on Lance Armstrong. "We have Paco, he is going well," Unzúe said. "We will see how he does in the Pyrenees."

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