Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Astana) has promised to continue riding in the Giro d’Italia, despite learning that he

Contador learned Monday that he suffered an elbow fracture in Saturday's crash
Contador learned Monday that he suffered an elbow fracture in Saturday’s crash

Photo: Graham Watson

Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Astana) has promised to continue riding in the Giro d’Italia, despite learning that he suffered a minor elbow fracture in a crash last Saturday.

“Contador’s visit to the radiologist today (Monday) revealed a fissure in the radius head of his left elbow,” his Astana team said in a statement on Monday. “The fracture without dislocation stems from his Stage 8 crash from Rivisondoli to Tivoli (on Saturday).”

Though Contador was able to complete the stage and Sunday’s Stage 9, the bruising and discomfort prompted the team to ask for a detailed examination on the Giro d’Italia’s first rest day.

“The x-rays showed that the fracture is stable and the 2007 Tour de France Champion has been cleared to ride Tuesday’s time-trial,” the team said Monday.

Contador insisted that he had no intention of quitting the Giro.

“As all riders know, winning a grand tour takes some hard work, luck and health,” Contador was quoted as saying in the release. “Unfortunately, having a small fracture does not make the journey to Milan any easier, but I’m motivated and will try to fight through the pain. I do not intend to leave the race.”

Contador admitted that he had felt his elbow during a training ride Monday and that the position of the injury could pose a problem for Tuesday’s individual time-trial as he may have difficulty getting into a fully aerodynamic position.

“That is a problem but I hope I still make a good time trial. The doctors tell me that it is a small fracture. With a bit of luck, I can recover a bit during the ‘easier’ stages from Wednesday to Friday.”