The Spaniard dislocated his shoulder in a crash on the finishing straight of stage six and has subsequently widened the position of his aero-bars on his time trial bike to put less pressure on his troublesome joint.
The 59.4km time trial on stage 14 will likely prove to be a real shake-up of the General Classification, with Contador knowing he will have to put in his best performance to avoid losing time to testing specialists Richie Porte and Rigoberto Uran.
He said at a press conference on the Giro’s first rest day: “I have taken advantage of today’s rest day to test my position on the bike, and although I should feel better in five days, I still decided to slightly widen the position of my handlebars.
“It costs a little bit aerodynamically, but it puts less pressure on my shoulder. In this situation, I think it’s more important to protect it.
“I’m happy because I have been getting better every day after my crash. Yesterday [stage nine] my cadence was much closer to normal than during the stage to Campitello Matese [on stage eight].”
Dr Hutch’s guide to the Giro d’Italia time trial