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Ekimov's Tour in doubt after crash

Viatcheslav Ekimov has had a nasty fall while training with Discovery Channel teammate Lance Armstrong in Austin, Texas, which has put his chances of riding the Tour de France in doubt. The pair were riding together on Thursday at midday when Ekimov hit a pothole and crashed. Ekimov was taken to hospital in Austin where he was diagnosed with a broken sternum and a broken vertebra. Armstrong was not injured.

His close friend Dirk Baert told Het Nieuwsblad, "I had him on the line on Thursday night and Friday. He could barely talk because of the pain. Slava hopes to transfer to St. Petersburg as quickly as possible. He must wear a corset for six weeks. By that time, we'll already be halfway through June. The chance that he will ride with Armstrong in the Tour is very small."

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