Alberto Contador can’t stay upright in a grand tour. Which makes winning a three week bike race fairly problematic. It’s a known fact that you can’t make the podium when you’re crumpled up in a ball of pain on the roadside.
The Spaniard crashed several times in the first days of this years’ Tour de France. It was his one big season goal since he had crashed out of the last Tour. Unfortunately he basely made it out of the first week before he abandoned.
Resetting his objectives, he entered the Vuelta a España, his home tour, as one of the favorites for overall victory. He was rested, ready, no Tour in legs, fresh mentally and physically.
Sadly for Contador, it is deja vu all over again. Already down 1:52 to race leader Darwin Atapuma (BMC), the Spaniard hit the deck today on stage seven. He lost no more time but he did lose some skin all over his left side and his morale must be injured, too.
Until he announced his new contract with Trek-SegaFredo, there was talk from Contador that this might very well be his last year. In our view, a consistent run of bad luck and crashes is a sign from the Cycling Gods that time is up. Perhaps that is the message they’re sending Contador.
When Lance Armstrong went came out of retirement to tackle the 2009 Tour de France, the Cycling Gods — and cycling in general — were none too happy. When the hard-headed Texan refused to take the hint, they took their revenge the following season.
Armstrong’s 2010 Tour de France was marked by repeated crashes — this from a man who during his seven year run as doped Tour de France had an amazing run of good fortune.
Perhaps this is now the case for Alberto Contador. Once seen as a particularly skilled bike handler, he is now crashing at an alarming rate. With three mountain stages now on tap, his injuries will hamper his climbing abilities and likely doom his shot at a podium finish in Madrid.
That’s a lot of mental and physical resets for even a riders as mentally tough as Contador. While his rival Chris Froome has been incredibly fortunate in avoiding near disaster and crashes in both the Tour and Vuelta, El Pistolero continues to fall.
What’s next for Alberto “Crash” Contador?