Brought down by a finishing straight crash, Giro d’Italia race leader Alberto Contador has suffered a dislocated shoulder, but will try to continue in the race.
According to AS, the rider’s Tinkoff-Saxo team has confirmed to the Spanish media outlet that he sustained a dislocation of his left shoulder in the fall.
The crash appears to have been caused when a spectator extended a camera telephoto lens over the barrier, snagging Italian sprinter Daniele Colli.
Contador was one of many who fell and, according to AS, the effects are serious. In addition to the shoulder injury, it also says that his knee has been hurt. It is unclear if this is the leg which was fractured during a crash at last year’s Tour.
Contador appeared at the podium ceremony to present the Maglia Rosa but declined to put on the pink jersey. His team said that he had ice on his shoulder and as a result, didn’t want to move his arm.
However if the AS report is accurate, his reasons for doing so were more than just a consideration about keeping the ice in place.
It states that the rider’s press officer Jacinto Vidarte confirmed the injury and that the rider, Vidarte and team owner Oleg Tinkov were brought by car to the Golf Punta Alta hotel. Before then, he was seen by the mobile medical team at the Giro d’Italia.
It has the ability to carry out x-rays and thus determine the nature of his injuries.
Speaking to Eurosport, Vidarte said after the stage that Contador is expected to be able to start tomorrow. AS suggests this remains the case after the medical examination, but clearly the situation is not ideal.
Update: Tinkoff-Saxo: decision about Contador continuing or not likely to be made Friday morning
Commenting after the team’s leader and current Giro d’Italia race leader Alberto Contador crashed heavily inside the final kilometre of Thursday’s stage, the Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Stefano Feltrin has stated that there is a chance that Contador might not start on Friday.
“Yes, it is possible, Until the doctor has seen him, we can’t know the consequences,” he said. “In the morning, when we have reliable information, we’ll decide what to do.”
“Alberto is now going to the hotel, where the team doctor, Pete Daniels, is going to assess whether there is any damage, and what its nature might be,” Feltrin continued.
“You all saw the fall: he got caught in a crash at full speed in a bunch sprint and went down pretty hard. We have applied ice to both knees and shoulders. His elbows and knees seem to be OK. There don’t seem to be any broken bones, but in that sort of crash, you cannot know what has happened until you have been examined.”
Asked what would happen next, he laid out the likely sequence of events. “First, our team doctor will evaluate him and then we’ll decide,” he said.
“The race organisation has put its medical staff at our disposal. There is a hospital nearby. When we know, we’ll decide what happens next.”