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Klöden to skip Worlds

Andreas Klöden has given up his final ambition of the season and withdrawn as a candidate for the German World Championship team, the Astana rider announced Thursday.

The German injured his hand the end of August in a training accident, and returned to training "as soon as the injury on my hand allowed it". However, despite training hard, he wrote on his website, andreas-kloeden.com, "I must now see that there is not enough time before the end of September in order for me to start at the World Championships in Stuttgart in 100 percent form."

He praised his colleagues who will be there, saying, "The national team has a lot of strong riders, such as Stefan Schumacher and Bert Grabsch, who are surely in position to get medals. For that reason, it wouldn't be fair for me to block one of the valuable starting places."

"I would very much have liked to start for the national team - especially in Germany. At any rate I will wish the guys all the best in the Worlds!"

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