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Cycling Racing News and Opinion
July 14, 2014

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Alberto Contador Abandons the Tour de France

After a hard crash Alberto Contador has abandoned the Tour de France. With Chris Froome's withdrawal, that makes two favorites who have crashed out this year. More later.

Contador was delayed by the side of the road for at least four minutes as the doctor bandaged a bloody knee. Almost the entire Tinkoff-Saxo team dropped back to pace the Spaniard back up to the peloton, but even on the descent, he lost more time.

Upon being X-rayed it was discovered that Contador had fractured his right tibia and will need surgery. Looking back, that he was able to chase as fast as he did after the crash is a remarkable testimony to his determination.

Right after Contador's withdrawl Tinkoff-Saxo Director Philppe Maduit said, “Alberto badly crashed. His right knee is seriously injured. The crash has been violent. I have his shoe with me, it's completely destroyed. According to some rumors, his bike has been broken but that's not the case. A bike fell from our racks after we fixed Nicolas Roche's bike. It's obviously too early to establish a diagnostic for Alberto. Once he'll reach the finish, he'll undergo an x-ray examination. Before pulling out, he told us that he was in an awful pain and he couldn't go any further on his bike. It's a pity because everything had gone well since the beginning of the Tour. We had a plan and today's race was unfolding exactly as we wanted. In a fraction of a second, it all fell apart, so we're immensely sad. Tomorrow, it's a rest day. After tomorrow, a new battle will begin. We'll stay united and a new Tour de France will begin for us.”

Statement from Tinkoff-Saxo team boss Bjarne Riis:

“Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent. He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road. Alberto was in the shape of his life and the entire team had our eyes fixed on the podium in Paris and the work we would have to do to get there”.

Following the crash Alberto received a new bike and medical treatment to stop the bleeding from his knee.

“After the crash, Alberto got back on the bike and we tried for about 18 kilometers to keep him in the race. Despite his best efforts and an impressive show of willpower, he had to abandon the race”, says Bjarne Riis after the stage.
The captain of Tinkoff-Saxo was brought to the finish line in a team car and underwent medical examinations with x-rays being taken of the areas affected.

“Alberto has broken his tibia just below the knee. It’s not a complicated fracture but it probably requires surgery. He will stay with us tonight and tomorrow he will travel back to Madrid to undergo further examinations and a surgery if necessary.

"Alberto Contador’s exit is a tragic event also taken the many months of preparation into consideration together with the work that the team has done leading up to and during this year’s Tour de France.

“We will naturally have to look ahead. But right now it’s too early to say anything about the possibility of Alberto riding Vuelta a España. It depends on his recovery and on how fast he can get back on the bike and start training again.”

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