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Tour de France sickbay: Possible tendonitis for Kern

Christophe Kern (Europcar) wins stage 5 in the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine

Christophe Kern (Europcar) wins stage 5 in the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

On Monday's Tour de France stage three, Christophe Kern struggled to keep up with the bunch despite the day's flat profile. The Europcar rider, recent stage winner at the Critérium du Dauphiné, was suffering from knee pain and now has to undergo examinations. The French time trial champion fears a tendonitis might put a premature end to his Tour de France.

"After the team time trial, my knee hurt, and on Monday it got worse, I suffered more and more as the stage evolved," Kern told French television. "In the finale, when it got fast, it was too hard for me to keep wheels because of the pain. We'll see with our osteopath and our doctor.

"I get the impression that it's the beginning of a tendonitis. No good news at the start of the Tour. I hope I'm wrong because if I'm not, then it will be very hard to continue."

Kern finished sixth overall at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné and hoped to do well at the Tour, feeling in very good form.