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Klöden sore but fighting

Klöden was injured in Thursday's crash

Klöden was injured in Thursday's crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Susan Westemeyer

Andreas Klöden struggled to make it to the finish line Thursday after the crash which left him with a hairline fracture on his coccyx, "at exactly the same place where I had this problem in 2003 at the Tour."

"I landed directly on the coccyx when I crashed, and it swelled up" he wrote on his website, "This presses on a nerve and goes down my leg. Right now I have no feeling in parts of my foot."

The first night was not a comfortable one. "I only slept three hours," the Astana rider said, "since I could only lay on one side. Every time that I rolled over in my sleep, I woke up."

Things weren't much better on Friday. "I was pretty knocked out and could hardly move. It was to my advantage that the stage was flat and the tempo was kept down. As soon as I put pressure on the pedal, all the muscles in the affected area tense up. That presses on the swelling on the nerve, which in its turn causes great pain."

However, he is not giving up and says that he and injured teammate Alexander Vinokourov "are firmly committed to keep on fighting, as long as we can manage."

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