Alberto Contador of Team Saxo Tinkoff crashed heavily with 95km to go in todays mountain stage on Bastille Day in Le Tour de France.
The rider came off his bike off camera whilst ascending the Col du Platzerwasel. Initial reports claimed that his frame had snapped, but these are unconfirmed. His right shoe was mangled in the crash and he had to swap footwear and bike as he continued for another 30 minutes.
However, with 77km to ride to the finish, Contador pulled over to the right side of the road and climbed into the team car, which took him from the finish to hospital due to concerns over a nasty knee injury. He will have further tests and scans tonight.
During this fiasco, Spanish rider Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez rode away over the last two climbs and came within 500 metres of winning the stage. But Vincenzo Nibali caught up with him and pulled away to win the stage.
Because the Italian finished over four minutes ahead of Frenchman Tony Gallopin, he reclaimed the yellow jersey and things are now set for him to finish first in the general classification.
Tomorrow the riders have a rest day but the action continues on Wednesday with another tough day.
No less than four categorised climbs lie ahead of two uncategorized ascents and countless bumps in the terrain. I’m tipping a breakaway victory, perhaps Jens Voight in his last year as a pro could come out on top.