Contador appeared to finish safely after the crash but later seemed unable to move his left arm as he stood to recieve the Maglia Rosa. Clearly unhappy he was unable to pull on the jersey as race leader for the second day and also avoided the champagne celebrations.
X-rays later revealed that he had dislocated his shoulder, but the Spaniard will still continue the race.
After the hijinks of the previous day of racing, the mostly flat 183km stage from Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia, played out as expected to end in a sprint. The only question - could anyone stop Andre Greipel?
The answer was no. Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) came off a perfect leadout from New Zealand team-mate Greg Henderson to take an easy victory as a crash split the peloton in the final 500 metres.
The German finished ahead of Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) to take his first stage victory of this year's Giro.
“I’m really happy and relieved after this victory," said Greipel. "And of course I’m immensely proud of the team, the guys did such an amazing job today. I’m really thankful."
Despite the crash, the general classification remained unchanged with Contador leading Fabio Aru (Astana) second and Australian Richie Porte (Sky) third.
On offer for the peloton was two intermediate sprints split by a Category 4 climb before a flat fast open finish, perfect for the fast men.
Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi), Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Marco Bandiera (Androni) and Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo-Vini-Fantini) got the race started with a break which managed a time gap of over five minutes.
Kept in check throughout, the time gap was just a shade over two minutes as the peloton crossed the 25km to go mark, with Greipel’s Lotto-Soudal team setting the pace. With 15km to go it was all over for the escapees.
The long range jockeying for position then began in earnest with all of the big outfits present at the front as cross winds caused some splits in the peleton. But Lotto-Soudal always seemed in control as they perfectly delivered Greipel to the drop off point for his sprint.
"We took our responsibility today," said Greipel. "We wanted to show ourselves from start to finish, so the others would know we were there. We didn’t make any mistakes.
"With Lars Bak, Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson I had three riders in front of me when entering the last three kilometres. It all ran according to plan.
“The beginning of this Giro is not at all like the other Grand Tours that I have done before, it was really tough the third and fourth day.
"I now have the points jersey. We’ll see what happens the next stages and how long I’ll keep it. It’s an honour to ride in it tomorrow, but it all depends on how the race develops. But now we have a first victory, we’ll definitely aim for a second one.”
Stage 6: 183km, Montecatini Terme - Castiglione della Pescaia
1 André Greipel (GER) Lotto Soudal 4hr 19min 42sec
2 Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) IAM
3 Sacha Modolo (ITA) Lampre-Merida
4 Manuel Belletti (ITA) Southeast
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) Trek Factory Racing
6 Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Southeast
7 Elia Viviani (ITA) Sky
8 Luka Mezgec (SLO) Giant-Alpecin
9 Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) Bardiani CSF
10 Davide Appollonio (ITA) Androni Giocattoli
1 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 16hr 5min 54sec
2 Fabio Aru (ITA) Astana 0:00:02
3 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 0:00:20
4 Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:22
5 Dario Cataldo (ITA) Astana 0:00:28
6 Esteban Chaves (COL) Orica-GreenEDGE 0:00:37
7 Giovanni Visconti (ITA) Movistar 0:00:56
8 Mikel Landa Meana (ESP) Astana 0:01:01
9 Davide Formolo (ITA) Cannondale-Garmin 0:01:15
10 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar 0:01:18