AG2R La Mondiale's Mickaël Chérel collided with a truck during training and suffered several injuries. The Frenchman hit the vehicle head on, as the truck had stopped on the descent of the Col du Tanneron in south east France.
He suffers from whiplash and will not be able to participate in the upcoming Tour Down Under. He will be replaced by Mathieu Perget.
Mickaël Chérel was unlucky. He will have to rest for at least ten days, and will then go to a medical examinations that will decide when he can return to competition.
He will, however, be able to come to the team's last pre-season training camp in Aups, South-East France, from January 11-20.
Ex-pro Axel Merckx is fascinated about his former team mate Mark Cavendish's mental strength.
Axel Merckx and Cavendish raced together at T-Mobile in 2007, Merckx’s final season as a professional. Since then, Merckx has become the sports director of the Trek-Livestrong team.
“That January, during our first training camp in Mallorca, we had to undergo some specific tests on endurance and strength,” Merckx told DH.be. “Cavendish was very disappointed to hear it said by the trainer that his test results weren’t worthy of a ProTour rider. And it’s true that his tests were lower than everybody else!”
But test results don't mean a lot. Mark Cavendish wins more than anyone else, so he is not a bad rider, despite lower tests.
“To cheer him up, I told him that a certain Johan Museeuw had once faced the same nonsense at the famous Mapei Centre, one week before his most important period but that hadn’t stopped him from winning Dwars door België masterfully,” Merckx said.
“Tests are all well and good but they don’t take into account one thing – the head! A little later, Mark easily won the GP Van Steenbergen, beating Robbie McEwen. The young man had apparently received my message loud and clear."
Will Alberto Contador race the 2011 Tour de France? Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) hopes so.
Contador returned a positive sample for Clenbuterol at the 2010 race and will soon find out if he will face sanction.
“Of the last four Tours, Contador has won the three that he’s taken part in and he has earned the status of favourite,” Samuel Sanchez told Biciciclismo.com.
“Honestly, I would prefer if he is on the start line. A Tour without Contador would be like a Roland Garros without Nadal or Formula 1 without Alonso.”
Alberto Contador has recently been listed by his Team Saxo Bank-SunGard to ride the Tour of Murcia in March.
The team management knows that there is a big risk that the Spanish rider won't be there, but every team lists a number of riders for every race. A rider who is not listed, can not race. That's the reason why they have to name it. In case the Spanish rider is freed.
It seems like a decision on his suspension is expected sometime next month, and it will likely be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport too. It may take some time before the case is all cleared, as everybody must accept the answer.
Contador has denied doping and blames contaminated meat for his positive test results.