Spaniard Alberto Contador, last year's Tour de France winner, is suffering from a minor elbow fracture sustained during a crash during the ongoing Tour of Italy, but has vowed to continue the race.
"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 a formal 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."
Contador insisted that he had no intention of quitting the race, international cycling's second most prestigious stage race after the Tour de France.
"As all riders know, winning a Grand Tour takes some hard work, luck and health," Contador said Monday, a rest day on the Giro. "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 run on Monday and that the position of the injury could pose a problem for Tuesday's individual time-trial as a fully aerodynamic position on the time trial bike cannot be fully obtained.
"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."
© AFP 2008