Alberto Contador left the Tour de France "destroyed" with a broken tibia resulting from a crash in stage 10 today. The two-time Tour winner faces surgery and around a month off his bike, said his Tinkoff-Saxo team.
"He's destroyed, of course, he was in the shape of his life. Come on, this was his Tour, it's a mess," team manager, Bjarne Riis said.
"He's in a lot of pain, he's getting stitches. Of course he hurts a lot, he has a broken tibia, that's pain."
The Spaniard crashed on wet roads between two climbs in today's stage to La Planche des Belles Filles . He cleaned himself off, received medical treatment to his right knee and changed bikes before setting off again. He rode nearly 20 more kilometres, over the Platzerwasel pass, before the pain forced him to abandon.
"He told me immediately that he thought it'd be difficult to continue but he'd tried, then he had a lot of pain. After the downhill, I could see he could not pedal," Riis said.
"Of course he wanted to keep racing. We tried because we didn't know if it was broken or not. He asked what he should do, but I told him to make his own decision on his own, then he stopped."
Contador was considered a favourite to take on race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) as the race continued towards the Alps and Pyrenees. On Saturday, he took time from his rivals and Riis explained he was ready to do so again on Monday.
The Tinkoff team doctor explained that with surgery Contador will be off his bike for two to three weeks. They will have to fix his leg in a brace after doctors operate.
"It's like a bad dream, but that's cycling, which I said when Chris Froome crashed out," team owner Oleg Tinkov said.
"My first try was not so successful but we'll try next year. I'm confident, he was the strongest. He would've won the Tour, but that's cycling."
Tinkoff-Saxo leader Alberto Contador forced to withdraw from Tour de France after fracturing tibia in crash
Vincenzo Nibali wins mountain stage to move back into yellow jersey as Alberto Contador withdraws due to injury
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