Alberto Contador was one of several riders to fall victim to crashes on the wind-swept first stage of Paris-Nice today. The Spaniard tumbled to the ground along with Cervelo rider Heinrich Haussler near the 3km to go mark of the stage to Contres.
"What worries me most is the blow to the leg," Contador said in a press release. "I have a pretty good bruise and it's still burning. I hope to continue the race tomorrow."
The Astana leader went down as the peloton was chasing flat out after a 15-man move containing overall leader Lars Boom of Rabobank, making the effort to regain the peloton frantic. He was able to regain the main chase group, but dropped from fourth place overall to eighth after losing time to riders in the front group.
“It happened in a split second," said Contador. “I was on the left riding relatively normally when someone was hooked and pulled me to the left. I've completely broken the front wheel and I've taken a good hit."
Luckily his teammate Gorazd Stangelj was nearby and gave up his bike to Contador so he could get back to the main group.
Contador said he will rethink the overall situation, but said he was not concerned about the 17 seconds he lost to Boom. "I'm more concerned about the consequences of the fall. It would have been better not to have lost time, but more important is to see how I recover."