Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) hit the ground in a large crash at the finish of stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia, separating his left shoulder.
Whether or not Contador will start Friday’s stage will be decided in the morning, according to the team.
“I haven’t broken anything but I have suffered a dislocation of the left shoulder,” said Contador. “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.”
“I will try to start tomorrow on stage 7, as I have worked very hard ahead of the Giro. 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.”
Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Stefano Feltrin remains optimistic. “Clearly there’s the possibility. It’s impossible to say with certainty if he can continue.”
Following the crash, which occured in the final meters of Thursday’s stage, the Spaniard stood up quickly and rode across the line, receiving the same time as the rest of the front group and retaining his two-second lead over Fabio Aru (Astana) in the general classification. But he declined to put on the pink jersey as he stood for the podium presentation. His left arm hung limp at his side as he waved the maglia rosa, clutched in his right hand, toward the crowd.
Contador was taken for X-Rays, according to a team spokesman. The examination showed no broken bones.
An official medical bulletin from the Giro d’Italia states: “Clinical examination revealed a slight instability of the left shoulder joint, as compared to the right one. The rider experienced slight pain.”
“He isn’t in serious pain and that’s already a good thing. He couldn’t put on the jersey on the podium because he was wearing an ice pack,” said Feltrin.
The crash, apparently caused by a fan’s long camera lens, also resulted in a visibly dislocated elbow for Danielle Colli of Nippo-Vini Fantini, who initiated the chain-reaction crash. Colli was unable to finish the stage and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Colli “underwent x-ray examinations that confirmed a compound fracture of the left humerus, while CAT scans ruled out further fractures or damage to the internal organs of the chest and abdomen,” according to the medical bulletin.
André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won the stage, a mostly flat 183 kilometers ending in Castiglione della Pescaia.
Check back for more updates on Contador’s condition as this story develops.