Alberto Contador dislocates shoulder but stays optimistic

Race leader to assess injury before deciding whether to continue on stage seven

Race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the crash which marred the end of the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia – but the Spaniard is optimistic of continuing.

El Pistolero was brought down after Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), who suffered a bad fracture of his arm, appeared to collide with a spectator leaning over the barrier as he opened up his sprint on the inside.

Alberto Contador maintained his overall lead, but he was unable to pull on the pink jersey on the podium because of the injury to his shoulder (pic: Sirotti)

Contador remounted and finished the stage, but a post-race x-ray showed a dislocation of the shoulder, organisers RCS Sport and his Tinkoff-Saxo team both confirmed.

But, boasting a two-second lead over second-placed Fabio Aru (Astana) and a 20-second advantage over Richie Porte (Team Sky), Contador has refused to rule himself out of the race.

“I will try to start tomorrow on stage 7, as I have worked very hard ahead of the Giro,” he said. “I will try to continue until the very last moment.

“I’m optimistic about the start tomorrow, but we have to wait until right before the start to see what happens and how serious the effect of the crash is.

“I haven’t broken anything but I have suffered a dislocation of the left shoulder. The doctors have recommended that I immobilize my left arm during the evening and night, while I try to move it a bit with the help of my other arm to promote the movement of the shoulder.

“I will focus on this until tomorrow before the stage, where the doctors will come back to put on a layer of bandage for the race.”

The crash occurred in the last 200 metres, meaning the overall time was not affected, but if Contador can not continue last year’s third-placed finisher Aru would take over the race lead.

Contador’s team-mate, Roman Kreuziger, is the next best-placed Tinkoff-Saxo rider, sitting fourth with a 22-second deficit to Contador.

UPDATE – Contador tweeted ahead of the stage he was on his way to the start with his shoulder ‘protected’ ahead of what he expects to be a tough day.

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