Tinkoff-Saxo’s team captain Alberto Contador abandoned the Tour de France after a crash midway through the tenth stage on Monday. The Spaniard hit the ground 95km into the race and appeared to injure his right knee.
Contador got back on a team bike but lost nearly four minutes to the peloton as he received medical treatment from the side of the car. He stopped a second time because he appeared to have a problem with his shoe. Three of his teammates waited for him to help pace him back to the field including Michael Rogers. It looked as though we would try to continue the race, however, he was forced to abandon the race all together a few kilometers later.
Contador was a major favorite to win the overall title at this year’s Tour de France, along with the defending champion from Team Sky Chris Froome. Froome was also forced to abandon the Tour part way through stage 5 after suffering a broken left wrist and right hand from crashes during the first week of the race.
Contador sat in ninth place overall at the start of the tenth stage, 4:08 minutes behind the overall race leader Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol). He was poised to move up in the classification as the stage finished on La Planche des Belles Filles, and following a rest day on Tuesday, was headed toward the high mountain stages.
Contador's crash occurred on the descent of Petit Ballon. His team's efforts to bring him back to the peloton were made difficult by the mountainous terrain and the high speed up front. After 20 kilometers of chasing, Contador was not able to pedal and abandoned the race due to his knee injury, which was later confirmed by his Tinkoff-Saxo team in an official statement.