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Contador: I've worked too hard to just go home

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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) with his dislocated arm in a sling

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) with his dislocated arm in a sling
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) leads the peloton at the start of stage seven

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) leads the peloton at the start of stage seven
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The Giro d'Italia peloton leaves Grosseto

The Giro d'Italia peloton leaves Grosseto
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) looked tense before the start

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) looked tense before the start
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) talks to rival Fabio Aru (Astana)

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) talks to rival Fabio Aru (Astana)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) leaves the start

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) leaves the start
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Thumbs up from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) despite the pain in his left shoulder

Thumbs up from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) despite the pain in his left shoulder
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) heads to the team bus to travel to Grosseto fro stage seven

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) heads to the team bus to travel to Grosseto fro stage seven
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) left his hotel with arm held low

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) left his hotel with arm held low
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Alberto Contador is swamped with media wanting to know the extent of his injuries

Alberto Contador is swamped with media wanting to know the extent of his injuries
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the pink jersey

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the pink jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A pained Alberto Contador on the podium

A pained Alberto Contador on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador gets ready for his first day in the pink jersey since 2011

Alberto Contador gets ready for his first day in the pink jersey since 2011
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maglia rosa Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Maglia rosa Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Despite the double dislocation of his left shoulder in a crash late on stage 6, Giro d'Italia leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) said at the start of stage seven on Friday morning in Grossetto that he will try to battle on.

"I've worked very hard to be in good shape in the Giro and for the Tour and I don't want it all to go to waste," Contador, who took the leader's jersey on stage 5, told reporters. “We’ll just have to see I get through the day."

At Grossetto in southern Tuscany, the crowds surrounding the Giro d'Italia leader's team vehicles were no larger than the usual melee of fans and reporters on any stage of the Italian Grand Tour.

However, the sea of cameras and microphones along the flimsy tape barrier facing Contador as he stepped off the Tinkoff-Saxo bus was far denser than usual. Quashing early rumours that he would not be talking to the press, Contador opted briefly to answer questions before he rode off to the start.

Looking calm, the Spaniard said he had had a very good night's sleep, although he is trying to keep his left arm and shoulder as stable as possible. "Raising my arm above head height would be really risking that it would come out, so my teammates have been helping me out as best they can."

After a week of solid sunshine, the weather appears to be taking a turn for the worse, with rain now threatening and that is definitely a worry for Contador. "If it rains it'll be difficult to try and put on my rain jacket," the Tinkoff-Saxo rider reflected. "I hope it holds off." Although he did not mention it - and probably did not want to think about it - crashes on partly wet roads could be more likely, too.

Instead, the Contador show goes on, albeit with a big question mark over how he will handle the pain that always comes after one - or more - dislocations. "My morale is good," he insisted. "I'm going to continue for now."

Accompanied by his press officer and a member of race organiser RCS staff, after his brief impromptu press conference, Contador rode directly to the start and sign-on with members of the public shouting encouragement and attempting to keep up on foot as he pedalled away.

Today's stage, his first challenge as an injured Giro d'Italia, is largely flat. However, at 264 kilometres it is the longest of the entire race and has a slightly uphill finish sprint. Then, assuming all goes well, it will be back into the mountains on stages eight and nine, with the race's second summit finish on Saturday.

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