Velits out of Dauphine with broken collarbone

HTC-Columbia rider likely to miss Tour de France as well

Peter Velits of HTC-Columbia has crashed out of the Critérium du Dauphiné, jeopardising his chances for this year's Tour de France. .

25 year-old Velits finished second in the race's first stage but crashed at high-speed during the sprint finish of  Tuesday's second stage to Bourg-Saint-Andeol. He crossed the finish line before heading off to hospital for x-rays, which confirmed the fracture. It is not yet known if he will need surgery.

Earlier this week HTC-Columbia issued its long list of riders for this year's Tour de France, including Velits. However he probably now has little chance of recovering in time to be at the start of the Tour in Rotterdam on July 3.

"At the end of May, he fell in the Tour of Bavaria and broke a little bone in his wrist, enough to cause him to withdraw," HTC-Columbia directeur sportif Alan Peiper told AFP."Even if he was fit again for the start of the Tour, he would be lacking in race practice."

Velits was U-23 World road champion in 2007. He and twin brother Martin rode for Team Milram from 2008 and 2009 before joining HTC-Columbia this year.

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