Danielson Giro departure leads to tour speculation

Tom Danielson's departure from the Giro d'Italia on Monday has led to speculation that there might be more in store for the Tour de Georgia winner than treatment for an injured knee. Danielson's coach, Rick Crawford, has told the Durango Herald that he thinks Danielson's Discovery Channel team could be preparing Danielson for a role in this year's Tour de France.

"That was the first thing that popped into my head," said Crawford. "I think I would have known if his knee was hurt, and this is the first time I've heard anything about it.

"I'm sitting on pins and needles. I don't know how to take it. I don't know if it's real or not real. Sometimes there are ulterior motives with these things where they say one thing to the press, but then there's a lot of different things going on.

"They're sneaky with this stuff."

However, Crawford said he had not spoken to Danielson since his decision to drop out of the Giro.

"I hope his knee really isn't hurt, and that he's good to go; I'm not really sure. But I am worried as heck about it," said Crawford.

Danielson confirmed that his knee is injured. He was scheduled to have an MRI examination on it yesterday. "I started the Giro thinking if I kept going easy each day I could get over it, but it has gotten so bad I can't even walk," he told the Herald. "We decided to stop as it could turn into something that would affect my career."

Danielson has been suffering a sharp pain under his kneecap since the final stage of the Tour de Georgia.

"We will see after the MRI if something really got damaged," he said. "As for the rest of the season ... one day at a time."

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