Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) could make a remarkable comeback and race the Vuelta a España next month. The Spaniard crashed out of the Tour de France during yesterday’s stage 10 and was later diagnosed with a broken tibia. Despite the crash and injury he had attempted to carry on, making it a further twenty kilometres before eventually stopping. The Vuelta a España runs from 23 August to 14 September.
Having flown to Madrid on Oleg Tinkov’s private jet on Tuesday he was given further medical tests at Real Madrid’s clinic.
“He immediately went to the Clinica Centro, in which doctors waited to do a medical examination before deciding what the best course of treatment and if surgery is needed to speed his recovery,” a statement confirmed.
“Alberto Contador chose the Clinica Centro after contact with Real Madrid F.C. and more specifically with Emilio Butragueño, with whom he enjoys a good relationship, who quickly got to talk to the club's medical services and they in turn recommended consult with Dr. Leyes, a specialist in the type of injury suffered by the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo.”
The Vuelta a España was always on Contador’s original race programme for this year but after crashing out of the Tour he looked set to miss the Grand Tour, a race he won in 2008 and 2012.
“Alberto Contador said goodbye to his teammates during breakfast today and traveled to Madrid hoping to recover in time to take the start at next Vuelta a España, although everyone in the Tinkoff-Saxo team are aware of how hard it will get as fast recovery, allowing him again to be fully competitive in just 40 days.”
Contador reacts via video
Contador later posted his comments about the situation via a video on his website AlbertoContador.com.
"It's hard to describe: you feel sad. I worked a lot. I can safely say that I have not prepared for a Tour in my life as much as this one. Even if things weren't great in the overall classification, I was really happy with the situation and with my legs. It is certainly a hard blow to take."
"In the weeks before the Tour I sometimes dreamed I had a problem and I would ask myself if everything would be ruined. Then I'd wake up and see it wasn't true. Well this time, it's true. It's quite hard because I've sacrificed so much. I think he had a very good opportunity ahead of me, I think we could have had a good time in this Tour but that's cycling, and this my fate."
"I was going to say that I'd watch (the Tour) from the sidelines but the truth is that I won't because I don't think I'll be able to watch it at home."
"I want to speed everything up by being thorough as I can. I want to think about riding a bike as soon as possible. With just an x-ray you can't define the extent of the injury, a tendon may be involved, so you have to make an MRI scan."
"I started the day thinking of fighting for the stage victory but everything was ruined in moment of the fall. I tried to get up but after riding on the bike a minute I had to stop because the wound on my leg was pretty serious. I tried to continue but the pain in my knee was very bad, I couldn't bend it very well and I realised I would have to leave the Tour."
"It was in a point that was relatively quiet because it was a straight road. As it was a difficult descent I looked forward and I saw that the road was clear. I went to put my hand in my pocket and I hit a bump at about 70 or 80km/h.
"You train for so many months and do so much work to be at your best, that you don't want to waste everything you've done to get there. I did what I could, but I saw that the Tour was over for me," he said.
"Everyone is telling me that it'll be five or six weeks before I can touch the bike. Some say that maybe in three weeks and I want to be very optimistic but even three weeks without cycling is a lot."
"To be honest, I think it's really complicated. Without an operation, I'm 100% sure I can't do the Vuelta. With an operation, we'd have to see. The problem is not the Vuelta, the problem is being able to train enough before it. For now I'm going to check it out carefully and see what can be done."