Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has ruled himself out of riding next month’s Vuelta a España. The Spaniard crashed out of this year’s Tour de France with a fractured leg, but bounced back within 48 hours to claim that he could race the Vuelta, which starts next month.
He gave himself a forty day window of recovery after it was confirmed that his leg did not need surgery but on Wednesday morning he took to Twitter to announce that he would miss the race.
"Bad day, the wound healing gets complicated. I've no date to take the bike. Goodbye to the Vuelta," Contador said.
The news comes as a hammer blow for the Tinkoff-Saxo team, who although have won two stages in this year’s Tour de France, were hoping that Contador would regain fitness and challenge for a grand tour.
Michael Rogers won the team's second Tour de France stage in Bagnères-de-Luchon on Tuesday after a solo attack in the closing kilometres.
Bjarne Riis spoke to Cyclingnews at the finish and said that Contador's recovery would depend on how much longer he spent off the bike.
"It's tough and it's going to be a long process," he told Cyclingnews.
"It's only been a week and it's going to take another week before we really know how his recovery is going. He had a broken leg after all."
"I think the Vuelta might be possible but it all depends on when he can sit on the bike again, the pain h'’ll still have and how much training he can do. The fracture isn't a bad one but it's still a fracture.
"He has the base condition and he's a guy who can recovery fast and find top condition quickly. I'm not worried at the moment. If it's another two or three weeks without the bike then it's going to be harder, maybe not to race but to be in a decent condition."
Contador has not confirmed if he will return to racing this season.
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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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