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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
Frenchman will have operation on broken collarbone later this week
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has said that he hopes to return to racing before the end of this season after suffering a broken collarbone as a result of a collision with a car. The incident occurred prior to Tuesday’s first stage of the Tour du Limousin.
Speaking to L’Equipe, the Europcar team leader admitted this is almost certain to be the first season since 2003 when he hasn’t won at least one race. “It’s goodbye to my ambitions, goodbye to the Grand Prix du Plouay, to the Canadian Grand Prix races, to the World Championship, to the Tour of Lombardy that I love so much,” said Voeckler.
The Frenchman, though, insisted he will try to finish the season on a positive note. “I would still like to pin on a number before the end of the season. I will get back into training with this mind. Because inside me I simply can’t contemplate the idea that I will have to wait until 2015 to race again,” he stated.
Voeckler will have an operation on the broken bone on Thursday in Nantes. It’s the fourth time he’s broken a collarbone during his career, and the second time he’s done so this season just prior to a race. He broke his right collarbone in January soon after his arrival in Australia for the Tour Down Under.
He explained that he had been going through his usual routine prior to the start of the opening day of racing in the Limousin. “I wasn’t wearing a helmet because I wasn’t training,” he said. “I was doing what I’ve always done since I made my professional debut: I ride a few hundred metres to check my material before every race, I check the gears.
“Near the start, I went around a little roundabout when a car hit me. I heard the noise of the engine, the brakes squealing. After that I don’t remember too much. My shoulder – not the one that’s broken – hit the windscreen without me having time to protect myself… It was the kind of accident that happens to cyclists of all levels, and there are unfortunately too many of them.”