After falling on the opening day of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) safely negotiated stage two to Ajaccio, although he warned that he would face a tougher test of his recovery on Monday’s third and final Corsican leg to Calvi.
“I feel good and I was lucky enough to have slept well last night [in spite of the crash],” Contador told AS after stage two. “My teammates were phenomenal all day long and we got through another difficult day. As my body warmed up and we got into the race, my wounds didn’t bother me so much, although it was a bit uncomfortable sometimes, especially in the neck and back.”
Contador was one of a number of fallers in the chaotic finale of Saturday’s opening stage but was awarded the same time as the main peloton. Although he dismissed his injuries as being superficial, Contador said that he expects to continue feeling the effects of the crash on Monday, a rugged day along the Corsican coast with the second category Col de Marsolino just before the finish.
“48 hours after a fall is usually the worst day and when it hurts the most,” he said. “We’ll have to see if there are any complications and if I’m in top condition for the team time trial in Nice.”
Although Chris Froome (Sky) briefly went on the offensive on the final climb of Sunday’s stage, Contador opted to maintain a watching brief. Contador was grateful simply to emerge from the opening weekend without losing any time, having conceded over a minute when he crashed on the opening stage of his last Tour appearance two years ago.
“Unlike in 2011, when I left a minute and a half behind me on the first stage, I’m on the same time as all the rest of the favourites and my options for the general classification are intact,” he said.