Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich escaped serious injury after a training accident on the eve of the race's start.
Ullrich, one of Lance Armstrong's main rivals, crashed into the car of T-Mobile team manager Mario Kumme after being forced to brake unexpectedly.
The 31-year-old hit the car's rear windscreen and suffered superficial cuts to his throat and face.
"I'm OK, it's not as bad as it looks," said Ullrich.
Ullrich was training in the Vendee region, with the first action of this year's tour - a 19km time-trial beginning in Fromentine - getting underway on Saturday.
T-Mobile team doctor Lothar Heinrich said the injuries would not affect Ullrich's participation in the time-trial.
"The wounds were merely superficial - they don't need stitching," said Heinrich
Ullrich won the Tour 1997 but has since finished runner-up five times during Armstrong's reign as the race's dominant force.