After being patched up by Saxo-Tinkoff’s medical staff, Alberto Contador emerged from his team bus to detail the extent of his injuries, which he was glad to relate were not as bad as they could have been considering the impact he had when he crashed 3km from the finish. He described his injuries as “superficial” and said his principal concern is the possibility that they might make it uncomfortable for him to ride in a time trial position during Tuesday’s team test in Nice.
“It was a complicated day but that’s the Tour de France. Sometimes the crashes catch you and sometimes they don’t. It’s a lottery because you don’t know if they will happen on the left or on the right. I got caught up but I hope it’s nothing serious,” said the two-time Tour champion.
Contador explained he had injured his sides, sustaining cuts to his elbow on one flank and to his right knee on the other. “But it’s just superficial and I hope that’s it. Now I’m going to put some ice on them and recover over the next couple of stages for the team time trial. Let’s hope I don’t have any problems resting on my elbows,” he said.
He admitted he had been relieved to hear that the commissaires decided to give all of the riders the same finishing time as a broken shoe plate had meant he had been unable to pedal properly coming into the finish. He also explained what he thought had happened to him when the pile-up occurred.
“I think that someone hit me from behind – if they hadn’t I might have got through unscathed. Now the important thing is to continue on as if I hadn’t fallen, sleep as well as I can and tomorrow will be another day,” said the Spaniard.
“We all want to be up at the front and this is all down to typical first day nerves, of not wanting to lose time. But I feel well supported by a very strong team and I am happy to have that support. The Tour is the Tour and you never know where crashes are going to occur,” he concluded.
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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