A crash near the finish of stage 13 brought Tinkoff-Saxo’s team leader Alberto Contador to the ground. Contador who has worn the pink jersey since stage 5, lost 36 seconds to main rival Fabio Aru, who assumes the lead ahead of the crucial ITT. Despite a blow to the leg, Contador underlines that he remains motivated and will fight to recover quickly.
Alberto Contador was unwillingly relieved from his podium duties for the first time since he took the race lead on stage 5. Meeting the press outside the Tinkoff-Saxo team bus, the Spaniard says that the crash unfortunately happened just 200m from the point of neutralization.
“We were well positioned in the stage and we could see the crash coming. We were waiting for the 3km mark but, unfortunately, the crash took place 3,200 meters from the finish and as a result there was no neutralization. My first reaction, before checking if I was ok, was to try to get a bike as soon as I could in order to make it to the finish line”, comments Alberto Contador and adds:
“The time I lost wasn't extraordinary, about 36 seconds, but it will be quite difficult to recover. However, what worries me more is the blow I received on my left leg because it seems I got hit by the chainring of another bike. This is what could potentially harm me the most. Hopefully, it's nothing more than superficial wounds”.
“Nevertheless, I won't lose my fighting spirit and I will keep a positive attitude. I will try to recover as soon as I can, put ice on my leg in order to limit the inflammation and then see what happens tomorrow”.
The 147km stage 13 from Montecchio Maggiore to Lido di Jesolo once again presented the riders with a day in the wet. Just before the 3km marker, the peloton split due to a crash in the first third of the field. A greatly reduced peloton of some 30-40 continued on, with Sacha Modolo (LAM) taking the win.
Roman Kreuziger moved up a spot to fourth overall, while both Contador and rival Richie Porte were caught behind the crash and had to forfeit time to both Aru and Uran. Contador is now 2nd, 19 seconds behind Aru. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh underlines that the crash was unfortunate but adds that quick reactions from the team minimized the loss.
“We were caught by an unfortunate incident at the end of a very good day. We were waiting for the 3k mark to be safe but, unluckily, it took place 200 meters before that. Fortunately, we had Tosatto close by and thanks to his fast reaction, Alberto got his bike so that he could cross the finish line, minimizing the time loss as much as he could”
“Fortunately, Alberto's shoulder wasn't affected by the fall and we are very happy with that. His left leg was hit but tomorrow we have a very long time-trial and we can get some time back. We will see what happens but I feel confident today's incident will not be a big issue”, concludes Steven de Jongh.