Contador crashes out of Tour de France
Nibali attacks on the final climb to win stage and take back yellow jersey as his main rival Contador crashes out - unable to continue.PT0M0S 620 349
Two-time winner Alberto Contador was in tears as he pulled out of the Tour de France after crashing badly on the tough 10th stage on Monday.
The Spaniard’s withdrawal was the second major abandonment of the 101st edition of the race following that of reigning champion Chris Froome last Wednesday.
Contador crashed around the 65-kilometre mark of the mountainous 161-kilometre stage from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Calm before the storm: Alberto Contador (left) begins stage 10 with Peter Sagan (right). Photo: AFP
The 31-year-old received lengthy treatment by the side of the road to patch up his injured right knee before he changed bikes and carried on.
He had lost about four minutes on the peloton by this time.
Despite five of his Tinkoff-Saxo teammates dropping back to help pace him back, Contador started losing more time.
Down and out: Spain's Alberto Contador holds his knee after crashing on the 10th stage. Photo: AP
Around 15 kilometres later and about halfway through the stage, Contador shared a hug with his chief lieutenant, Australian Michael Rogers, stopped by the side of the road and climbed into a team car.
On Wednesday Briton Froome crashed twice before climbing off his bike and quitting the Tour.
He had already injured his wrist the previous day in a crash and an MRI scan on Thursday showed he had fractures to his left wrist and right hand.
Meanwhile, Australian team Orica-GreenEDGE appears to have missed out on signing Brad Wiggins for next season after the Brit indicated he’s staying with Team Sky.
In Italy for a sponsor’s event, the 2012 Tour champion told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he would also like to attempt the hour record next year, and said: ‘‘I’ll do it with these bikes because I’m staying with Sky.’’
It had been speculated that the 34-year-old – off contract with Sky this year – would move to a rival team after missing out on the squad for this year’s Tour de France.
Last month, Orica-GreenEDGE’s sports director Matt White said Wiggins would be a good fit for the young professional team, which needed an experienced grand tour rider.
Cycling regulations state that transfer announcements can’t be made before August 1.
Wiggins’ next big race will be the Tour of Spanish starting on August 23, but he said: ‘‘My time as a grand tour rider has passed. Sure, I will still enter them, but not to win.’’