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by Neal Rogers
July 13, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Another sprint, another victory for Kittel, who takes fifth stage of Tour de France; Brennauer off to winning start in Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour; Tough day at Tour for Astana: Feed zone crash takes out Cataldo as Fuglsang fractures wrist, elbow; Oh-so-close for Bodnar on Stage 11 of Tour de France; Groenewegen keeps improving, finishes second behind Kittel in Pau; Contador struggling to reconcile recurring bad luck at Tour de France; Stranger Tour? Sagan promotes Netflix as he readies to ‘race in the upside down’; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 11 highlights; Video: Backstage Pass with Orica-Scott at Stage 10 of the Tour de France; Video: What’s it like to be a mechanic at the Tour de France?
Stage 11 of the Tour de France was supposed to be a relatively calm day, a flat sprint stage for Alberto Contador to continue to recover from his crashes on Stage 9. Instead, the Spaniard found himself on the ground again, twice.
The first crash was a result of an incident in the feed zone and also involved teammates John Degenkolb and Haimar Zubeldia, but it was minor, and all three got going with little problems. Then, at 20 kilometers from the end of the stage, Contador could not avoid teammate Michael Gogl, who unexpectedly fell in front of him, this time landing with a bigger impact. While Jarlinson Pantano paced Contador back to the peloton, Gogl slowly picked himself from the tarmac and continued, but never regained the bunch.
Contador made it back to the peloton but wonders what he needs to do to escape the black cloud that seemingly hangs over his head. “I’ve never believed in bad luck, but this Tour is putting me to the limit, especially psychologically,” said Contador. “But I will say this, people who may think I’m going to give up is that they do not know me.
“I have received some pretty strong blows again, especially in the hip. Let’s see how I pass the rest of the day. Obviously, this makes everything more complicated for the Pyrenees, but like I said, I’m not going to give up. Now I have to be even stronger and with more determination. That’s how I’m going to manage this situation. This does not help at all, and yes, we will have to wait for the Alps, but my morale is always high, mostly for the affection of all people. Let’s see what we can do during the rest of the Tour.”