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by Shane Stokes
October 7, 2014
Having crashed hard in the finale of yesterday’s Il Lombardia, Alberto Contador has renounced his planned participation in the Tour of Beijing. The Vuelta a España winner confirmed Monday via Twitter that he won’t take part, with the after-effects of the crash on the final corner of the race aggravating the same knee he hurt during the Tour de France.
“Bad news,” he wrote via Twitter. “Training today I hadrdly could pedal because [of] the knee. Finally I don’t go to China.
“New thing is to do a MRI to know how the knee is and to start thinking on [about] 2015.”
Contador was in the second group on the road dropping down to the finish in Bergamo and was one of several riders who came down on the final corner.
“Following the last climb, I was in a group chasing the front group on the descent towards the finishing straight,” he said in a statement after the race. “In the final corner, someone crashed right in front of me and I didn’t have time to react.
“I went down and several riders came from behind and crashed into me. There was simply nothing I could do.”
He said that he was hurt in the crash. “I’ve sustained an injury to my left knee, which is the same one I hurt in the Tour and I also have some bruises on my elbow. It’s unlucky that it was the knee again but I think it’s not too serious. I’ll put some ice on it and hopefully I’ll be ready to go.”
He said that he would see how his knee felt on Monday morning; as things turned out, the joint was affected more badly than he first thought, and he has decided to miss Beijing as a result.
Contador had previously held a 620-606 lead over Valverde after winning the Vuelta. The latter’s runner-up slot in Sunday’s Il Lombardia saw him take over at the top from his compatriot, who picked himself up and trailed in 34th.
That saw Valverde end the day with 686 points, 66 more than Contador’s total. The Tour of Beijing offers 100 points to the winner, making things difficult for the Vuelta champion to turn things around.
Despite that, Contador said that he wasn’t giving up on thoughts of winning the WorldTour rankings. His knee, though, has determined otherwise and he will not now travel to China.
Valverde previously won the UCI ProTour, the WorldTour’s predecessor, in 2006 and 2008.
Follow-up story: With Contador out, WorldTour leader Valverde won’t ride Tour of Beijing [link]