Giro d'Italia: Alberto Contador admits he suffered on stage seven
Race leader says he has 'very difficult days ahead'
Last Updated: 19/05/15 1:47pm
Alberto Contador has revealed that he “suffered a lot” with his injured shoulder during Friday’s 264km seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia and fears that he has some “very difficult days ahead”.
The Tinkoff-Saxo rider, who dislocated his left shoulder in a crash at the end of Thursday’s sixth stage, finished in the peloton on the longest day of the Giro since 1984 to retain his slender overall lead.
The stage took 7hr 22min to complete and Contador admitted the second half of the day had been particularly painful.
He said: “I’m happy because I made it through this very long day and that is something I wasn’t sure about before the stage and especially not yesterday.
“On the other hand, I have suffered a lot, experiencing much pain. It was a stage of more than seven hours and after around four hours, I had a moment where I didn’t know where to place my hand on the handlebar.
“Now I hope that with more days on the bike I will be a little bit better, but for sure I have some very difficult days ahead of me. I hope that I can make it through them as best as possible.”
The first of those difficult days is likely to be Saturday’s mountainous eighth stage, which ends with the second of the race’s six summit finishes, at Campitello Matese.
Contador, who leads second-placed Fabio Aru by two seconds and third-placed Richie Porte by 20 seconds, had been looking forward to the stage prior to the crash but will now hope limit the damage to his hopes of overall victory.
He added: “Tomorrow is a complicated day for me. It’s a day that I was waiting for prior to my crash, because it was a stage, where I could have attacked. But now I have to be calmer and quieter on the bike and wait and see what my rivals do.
“At this moment, the only thing I’m thinking of is to put ice on my shoulder and knee to recover in the best way possible.”