Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) seemed almost relieved not to have suffered more serious injuries after the finish of stage 1 of the Tour de France at Utah Beach. He confirmed he had road rash from his knee to his shoulder on his right side but had managed to escape any major muscle damage and is confident of continuing in the race and making a recovery from his crash.
"I've got road rash on all my body, from knee to shoulder. But that's cycling, you work hard for months and then you crash on the first day. But I'm not going home and so I hope to recover fully in time for the mountain stages," Contador said from the steps of the Tinkoff bus to a scrum of media.
Contador crossed the finish line with an improvised bandage on his shoulder and arm applied by the race doctor at the back of the peloton. He had some initial treatment on the Tinkoff bus and revealed the team will also avail of active cell therapy, using an Indiba machine that stimulates microcirculation and metabolic hyper-activation. It is a legal form of treatment that does not change cell physiology.
"Of course in the next few hours it's going to hurt more, we'll put ice on my wounds and use the Indiba machine," Contador said.
Contador crashed hard with 79 kilometres to go as the peloton took a tight right turn. His front wheel seemed to slip out after he went across a raised kerb that divided the road. Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and several other riders also crashed, with more forced to take evasive action. Contador lost a lot of skin on his shoulder but quickly remounted on Robert Kiserlovski's bike. He soon got his own spare bike, took time to change a damaged shoe and was escorted back into the peloton by four Tinkoff teammates
"The race was very tense and everybody was fighting to position themselves in the front because of the wind," Contador said. "We were well positioned and very attentive but at a turn, a number of riders hit the central reservation. My front wheel got off and I also think that was the case with some others. We fell, hit the ground and skidded. In addition, another rider fell on me and hit my shoulder. There are some positions where my shoulder gives me some doubts, but I want to be optimistic and recover."
For the rest of the stage Contador stayed safely in the peloton. He finished 86th in the peloton, behind an initial split in the peloton after a late crash but race judges gave all the riders in the main peloton the same time. It was a scare for the Spaniard but he avoided injury and lives to fight another day.
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