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Suspected fracture for Soler

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld)

Mauricio Soler (Barloworld) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Last year's king of the mountains, Juan Mauricio Soler of Barloworld, might not get the chance to repeat that performance after he crashed near the end of stage one of the Tour de France. The Colombian fell with nine kilometres to go on the same wrist that he fractured in the Giro d'Italia, and suffered a suspected broken scaphoid. He also sprained his right wrist, which he injured in last year's Coppa Agostoni.

"The scaphoid is a small round bone in the wrist and you can't always see if it's fractured or not after a wrist injury," Tour medical officer Gerard Porte told AFP. The bone sits at the base of the thumb, and because it has limited blood circulation to it, the scaphoid can be slow to heal.

Soler expects to make a decision whether or not to continue before the start of the second stage on Sunday. Soler suffered through his wrist fracture in the Giro d'Italia for nine stages before finally abandoning on stage 11.

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