CHALLANS, France -- Germany's Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, was injured in a freak training accident on the eve of the Tour's start but escaped mostly unhurt on Friday.
The 1997 Tour winner was training with his T-Mobile team when he failed to spot a warning to brake and slammed into the car's back window.
He sustained minor cuts and scratches to his neck, but will be OK to start Saturday's 11.8-mile time trial from Fromentine to Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile.
"He did not see the special sign we make when the car has to brake," T-Mobile press officer Luuc Eisenga said by telephone. "The window is smashed. But it's nothing serious. He'll be OK to start the race."
Ullrich hit the rear windscreen, which smashed into pieces,
and suffered cuts near the throat.
The spokesman said the German, a five-time Tour runner-up,
was treated by the team doctor, who said the bruises and cuts
were only superficial.
The Tour starts Saturday with a 19-km time trial between Fromentine
and Noirmoutier on Saturday.