Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) has had two days to recover from his crashes but Wednesday's Tour de France stage from Limoges to Le Lioran will provide a stern examination of the Spaniard's true GC credentials in this year's race.
The two-time Tour winner fell twice in consecutive stages at the race and lost 48 seconds to his main overall rivals on the first uphill finish on stage 2. If anything, stage 5 is even tougher, and the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana(Movistar) will not hesitate to put Contador further onto the back foot.
At the finish of stage 4 Contador's entourage were keen to stress that their man was starting to find his feet in this year's race and that his wounds, although superficial, were starting to heal.
"He's fighter and he's a legend," Ivan Basso, the technical director for team, said at the finish of stage 4.
"He knows what to do. First priority is that he keeps on recovering. Of course these two stages have helped a bit and we'll cross our fingers. It's still a very long Tour."
"He won the Giro last year after he had a bad crash and injured his shoulder. That's cycling and you have to accept it. Everyone in the team believes that he can win the Tour but at the moment we have to just help him recover. He's had very bad luck but we'll fight that bad luck."
What is Majka doing?
Part of Contador's team is Rafa Majka, who raced the Giro d'Italia earlier in the year. He has consistently sat up and lost time throughout the Tour de France and sits 194th overall at 17:51.
Basso explained that the Polish rider was still working his way into the Tour de France but was coy on the possible tactics they could utilise with the climber later in the race. Majka has made a name for himself for long breaks in the Tour and used that approach to win stages and the King of the Mountains competition.
"Alberto needs a strong team and we have a strategy that goes stage by stage and helps that," Basso said.
"Rafa had a goal at the Giro and now for the first part of the Tour he has to prepare himself for when we need him. That's when we need him to be strong. He's here riding for Alberto. No doubt."
Basso added that the team were riding with a united front.
"This team, the message is clear. We have the world champion and the best Grand Tour rider. They're one and two in the WorldTour ranking and so we want the best for them. Finally, you have to remember that last year Peter also helped Alberto in the Tour. We're here to work together."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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