Contador could miss Tour of Beijing after Lombardia crash
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) could miss the final race of the season after a crash near the finish of Sunday’s Giro di Lombardia.
The Spaniard was in a large group chasing the leaders on a quick descent to the finish. As Contador hit the final turn ahead of the line in Bergamo, a rider in front of him crashed. A chain reaction pileup ensued.
“In the final corner, someone crashed right in front of me and I didn’t have time to react,” Contador said in a press release. “I went down and several riders came from behind and crashed into me. There was simply nothing I could do.”
Contador managed to get back on his bike and cross the finish line 34th. A hematoma developed on his left knee, the same one he injured in a Tour de France crash this summer, and his team said his participation in the October 10-14 Tour of Beijing is in jeopardy.
“It’s unlucky that it was the knee again but I think it’s not too serious, Contador said. “I’ll put some ice on it and hopefully I’ll be ready to go.”
If Contador is unable to race in Beijing, he will lose the season UCI WorldTour points title to countryman Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The pair has gone back and forth all season at the top of the standings, with Valverde taking a slim lead (686 points to 620) after Il Lombardia.
If Contador is able to ride in China, the competition for the season champion will come down to the wire. One hundred points are available to the overall winner, while more points are up for grabs for stages and placings.
“Right now it’s not important,” said Contador, adding that he will focus on getting healthy in the coming days. “[Valverde] gained points and is now 66 points ahead of me. I will keep my eyes on Tour of Beijing and hopefully I’ll be able to compete.”