Soler in the KOM jersey in 2007
Soler in the KOM jersey in 2007

Agence France Presse

Former Tour de France King of the Mountains Mauricio Soler is in doubt for next month’s race because of a knee problem, his Caisse d’Epargne team said Thursday.

Soler, 27, hurt his knee in a crash earlier this week in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The Colombian climbing specialist battled on, but finally surrendered to the pain, and a swollen knee, after finishing well behind in Wednesday’s third stage time trial over 49km.

Soler left France Thursday morning for Pamplona, Spain, where he will undergo scans to reveal the extent of his injury.

“We’ll see if he’s fit to ride the Route du Sud (June 17 to 20),” said Soler’s team sports director Yvon Ledanois.

“If he can’t then his chances of the Tour are virtually nil because he won’t be fit enough to be competitive.”

Soler won the Tour de France polka dot jersey for the now defunct Barloworld team in their only participation in the race, in 2007.