"This morning before the start I was really motivated to give it a try," said Klöden. "As I was not concerned any more on my general classification, I hoped to do it easy today and tomorrow to give my body the opportunity to recover, having in mind to try to win a stage in the last week of the Tour de France. Immediately after the start I felt it was impossible to go on. The speed was very high and I was not able to get power out of my legs. It is a pity, my condition was and is still very good, but there is nothing you can do against bad luck. Twice I crashed because other riders in front of me took too many risks."
Andreas Klöden came to the Tour as one of four leaders for Team RadioShack but the team is now down to one, Levi Leipheimer, who is currently 7:51 down in 17th place. Leipheimer was already involved in four crashes this race. Jani Brajkovic had to leave the Tour after suffering a concussion and broken collarbone in the fifth stage and teammate Chris Horner was forced to abandon with a concussion and broken nose after stage eight. Moreover Yaroslav Popovych did not start the 10th stage due to a fever.
"With our GC and Team GC hopes gone, our only option now is to look for stage win opportunities," said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. "Of course with so many injured riders, this won't be an easy task, but we will try. At this point, the only thing I can promise you is this - we will continue riding. Even if we are left with one rider, we will continue. These experiences have made me reflect on what we were able to accomplish for 9 Tours de France. It has allowed me to see the Tour in a new light; a light that I don't particularly want to see again, but a light that has brought a new respect and appreciation for the race and riders."
Andreas Klöden will return home to Switzerland tomorrow. On Monday he will undergo extra scans in the hospital of his pelvis, sacrum and lower back to exclude a bulging disc and hernia. An earlier scan in the hospital in Saint-Flour on Sunday did not reveal any fractures.
"I feel very sad for me but also for the Team," concluded Andreas Klöden. "I had one of my best seasons so far. I was really ready for the final podium. I will come back to the Tour de France."