Voeckler's Tour de France start not in danger

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) should be able to ride the Tour de France as planned, despite having abandoned during the Critérium du Dauphiné's last stage due to knee pain. Voeckler threw in the towel after 28km of the undulating stage seven from Morzine to Chatel. The two-time French national champion had been part of Saturday's main break on the queen stage to Morzine.

"Thomas has been weakened by a problem with his right knee. It's a muscular problem and not as a result of a knock or a crash," said directeur sportif Andy Flicklinger, quick to reassure the media that Voeckler's withdrawal was merely precautionary and that his participation in the Tour de France was not in danger.

"Thomas's injury is not a concern. He noticed there was a slight twinge in his right knee during the stage to Morzine and he simply didn't want to take any risks."

Voeckler, who's done a lot of racing already since the start of the season, finished fourth overall in last year's Tour and wore the yellow jersey for ten days.

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