Alberto Contador crashes near stage 7 Vuelta a Espana finish

Tinkoff leader goes down in tight left-hand bend in final kilometre

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) hit the deck near the end of stage 7 Friday at the Vuelta a Espana, sliding out in a tight left-hand corner in the final kilometre with a rider from Lotto Soudal.

Contador came into the stage 12th overall, 1:52 behind overnight leader Darwin Atapuma, and was trying to protect his general classification position by riding near the front of the peloton as it chased down two escapees in the run to the line. Sitting several riders back behind hid teammates, the Spaniard opened a small gap as they went through the tight bend, touched wheels with the Lotto Soudal rider and slid to the barriers on the opposite side of the road. 

The extent of Contador's injuries was not immediately clear, although when he eventually crossed the line several minutes after the leaders he had scrapes and abrasions on his left side and shoulder.

Contador addressed the crash after the finish. "Someone hit me and that’s why I came down," he said. "My left side feels bad but we’ll see. It will be complicated from now on."

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