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Menchov suffering from sore throat

Rabobank's nominal captain Denis Menchov now looks like he'll be playing second fiddle to Michael Rasmussen after losing 11'51 in the first Alpine stage to winner Alejandro Valverde. Menchov, the winner of the Tour's young rider competition in 2003, is now sitting in 45th overall, 16'16 behind leader Lance Armstrong.

His time loss is being blamed on an inflamed throat, and he is taking antibiotics at the moment for it. "We hope that he will be fully fit by the Pyrenees," said team doctor Leinders to ANP.

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