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.”