Giro d'Italia: Alberto Contador tweaks TT position due to injury
Spaniard keen to ease pressure on dislocated shoulder
Last Updated: 19/05/15 1:43pm
Alberto Contador has revealed he has tweaked his time-trialling for Saturday's crucial 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia in order to ease the pressure on his injured shoulder.
The 32-year-old Spaniard took a three-second overall lead over second-placed Fabio Aru into Monday's first rest day despite dislocating his left shoulder in a pile-up on stage six.
Contador admitted the injury is getting better by the day but feels that tackling stage 14's 59.4km course in his conventional time-trialling position would be too uncomfortable.
He said: "I have taken advantage of today’s rest day to test my position on the bike, and although I should feel better in five days, I still decided to slightly widen the position of my handlebars.
"It costs a little bit aerodynamically, but it puts less pressure on my shoulder. In this situation, I think it's more important to protect it.
"I'm happy because I have been getting better every day after my crash. Yesterday [stage nine] my cadence was much closer to normal than during the stage to Campitello Matese [on stage eight]."
Contador has never surrendered the lead of a grand tour but admitted his Tinkoff-Saxo team considered giving up the pink jersey to breakaway rider Przemyslaw Niemiec on stage eight.
He added: "We thought already about the possibility of transferring the jersey to Niemec, but when we slowed down the pace a little, Astana went to work and nothing happened. The real goal is to have it in Milan. Until then the jersey might change owners many times."
While other contenders have already fallen away, Contador, Aru and Team Sky’s Richie Porte, who is 22 seconds back in third, have been difficult to separate and the Spaniard is expecting a close battle between the trio in the final two weeks.
"My main rivals are still Aru and Porte," he said. "Richie has some advantages at the time trial, but we have to see how the standings are after that stage. As for Aru, it is true that he has spent energy, but we have all spent energy."