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Valverde sick, Pereiro doubtful for Tour

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Alejandro Valverde surprised many viewers by constantly hanging at the back of the peloton during Thursday's Dauphiné Libéré stage and then being slowly dropped as the peloton started up Mont Ventoux. Caisse d'Epargne teammate José Vicente Garcia stayed with his captain, and the two finished last on the stage, nearly 29 minutes after the winner.

"Valverde came down with intestinal problems the previous night and he even threw up," said team leader Eusebio Unzue on "We can only hope that he gets over it soon." Sportwereld reported that George Hincapie (Discovery) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) have also come down with similar problems.

Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro came in 27th, 3'55" down. "His form is not good," said Unzue. "After the Dauphiné and after the analysis of the other riders in the Tour de Suisse we will decide whether he will go to the Tour this year."

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