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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Injury forces Valverde off Tour
Alejandro Valverde receives treatment from his team doctor on Thursday's 12th stage
Alejandro Valverde receives treatment from his team doctor on Thursday's 12th stage
Spaniard Alejandro Valverde was forced to quit the Tour de France during Friday's 13th stage with a knee injury.

The 25-year-old - who won Tuesday's 10th stage to Courchevel - was fifth overall and held the white jersey for the Best Young Rider classification.

But the Illes Balears rider has developed tendonitis in the knee and called it quits halfway through the stage from Miramas to Montpellier.

"I'm in good condition, but it's impossible with my knee," he said.

"It's better for me to stop now but I'm sorry to be pulling out. The positive thing is I've won a stage, which has been enormous for me."

Valverde is considered the next big cycling talent to emerge from Spain, and a possible successor to five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain.

He injured his knee after banging it against his own handlebars during the team time trial in the first week of his first Tour.

The pain intensified at the start of stage 11 two days ago on the climb to the Madeleine Col in the Alps, the day after his victory over Armstrong.



Racewatch: Le Tour stage 10
12 Jul 05 |  Cycling

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