Alberto Contador's ambitions for Giro d'Italia victory have been severely hampered after the race leader fell heavily on his left side and dislocated his shoulder in the final 200 metres of stage 6. Video footage of the crash shows a spectator on the left hand side of the road reaching over the barriers in an attempt to get a photograph of the peloton and knocking a Nippo-Vini Fantani rider to the ground which then causes 'shockwaves' to ripple through the bunch.
In the video, Contador's pink helmet is easy to spot on the left-hand side of the screen before he attempts to move across to the barriers on the right-hand side of the road only to be brought down by other riders.
Contador finished the stage but the extent of the pain he was feeling due to the injury was evident when he was unable to pull on the maglia rosa at the jersey presentation, instead holding it aloft with his right hand before making a quick exit in the team car without making any comments or doing the usual leader’s post-stage press conference. Having undergone an x-ray at a mobile unit near his team hotel, Contador explained what happened in the crash.
"In principle, there was a dislocation [of the shoulder] from when I fell. I got up, my shoulder was dislocated, and acting on instinct I popped it back in. I was scared because I thought I had broken my collarbone, which I have never broken in my life, then when we were at the foot of the podium it [the shoulder] came out again," he said.
"To judge from the tests it seems like it was nothing more than it was dislocated and I have to be very careful to be sure it doesn't happen again, so now I've got to try to have a good night's rest and immobilize my shoulder at all times, and cross my fingers it doesn't come out [dislocate] again and I can handle the pain."
Contador added that a decision over whether he continues in the race will be made on Friday morning.
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