Contador was caught in mass pile-up on Stage 6 of this year's race, and dislocated his shoulder. While there were initial fears that he would be unable to take the start for the following day's racing, a heavy strapping allowed the Spaniard to compete, albeit with care to restrain the movement of his left arm.
After Stage 8, to Campitello Matese, Contador held his own, and was even seen riding out of the saddle when Italian rival Fabrio Aru accelerated near the finish. Speaking at the first rest day press conference Contador said he'd been taking things conservatively, but was feeling better and better.
“After the crash, I have been more conservative instead of attacking - both yesterday and on the stage to Campitello Matese. Finishing these stages without losing time was good for me, because there is still more than enough terrain ahead. In this situation I preferred to be conservative.
“With regard to how things are going, I'm happy because I've been getting better every day after my crash. Yesterday my cadence was much closer to normal than during the stage to Campitello Matese. As for my situation in the general classification, I am also happy. I'm ahead of my rivals and they have to move, although it is true that the Giro has only just begun."
The race will take on a new dimension in the next ten days as the bigger mountains loom, and the first, and only individual time trial. Contador spent time on his TT bike on the rest day, and made adjustments to his position to give himself a more comfortable ride and spare his shoulder, but said that the 59.4km test in Treviso won't define the race.
He pointed to Australian Richie Porte as the one rider among the top-three with an edge in the time trial, but expects a tough final week, and every stage from hereon will be important.
“For sure, Richie (Porte) 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. Aru’s terrain is in the high mountains, like me. So for me Aru and Porte are the most dangerous”.
You can read more on Contador's rest day press conference here.