Tour de France 2013: Alberto Contador races to recover after opening-day crash
Spain's Alberto Contador was the leading rider most badly affected by Saturday's first pile-up of the Tour, suffering injuries to both shoulders, a sore right knee and a bad cut on his left elbow.
"He's got some nasty grazes on both upper shoulders," said Philippe Mauduit, Contador's sports director, "and we'll have to see how it goes. He's in good shape physically so that should make the recovery a lot quicker."
In classic motorway pile-up style, Mauduit said Contador had had time to brake when the crash happened, 4 kilometres from the finish of the first stage, "but as he was standing there waiting for it to clear, another rider didn't have time to stop and slammed into him".
Fifteen riders were injured in that and a smaller crash preceding it in a chaotic finale to the Tour's opening stage which also saw a team bus stuck under the finish gantry, barely 15 minutes before the riders, racing at nearly 40mph, got there themselves.
In a bewildering series of decisions, race officials first relocated the finish 3km from the line, then - when the bus was cleared - relocated it back to its original position. The double switch caused confusion enough to see the entire field given the same finishing time by race officials, but the crash had longer term consequences, too. Tony Martin, twice the world time-trial champion, started yesterday's stage swathed in bandages after suffering concussion, bruising on his upper body and cuts to his hip, chest, knee and left shoulder and elbow. After he twice passed out on the team bus, he was taken to hospital on a stretcher. With no bones broken, the German was allowed to continue in the Tour.
While Martin is a key part of Mark Cavendish's leadout train, Contador's injuries could have a serious impact on one of the top contenders for the overall classification. "I just hope I can be fully recovered in time for the team time trial," Contador said, before safely finishing yesterday's stage.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading mark...