• Alberto Contador has made a successful return to racing (AAP)Source: AAP
There were questions to be answered by Alberto Contador as the Tour de France entered the first of the Pyrenean stages and the injured Tinkoff team leader emerged unscathed despite being one of several riders caught up in the final kilometre kite drama.
Cycling Central

9 Jul 2016 - 9:02 AM 

Tinkoff's primary strategy was to keep Contador well protected as he recovered from injuries from earlier crashes, and at the end of the 162.5km from L'Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle it was mission accomplished for both.

"Today I had to be extremely conservative, something that is completely atypical to my style of racing," Contador said.

"However today was a simple appetizer to what will take place tomorrow. The goal now is to recover and tackle these two days on the Pyrenees, with our sights set on the rest of the Tour.”

Two crashes in two days bruise Contador's victory hopes
Alberto Contador's bid to win a third Tour de France hit the deck for the second day in a row as the Tinkoff leader crashed for the second time in just two days.

As the race reached its conclusion, the big general classification favourites stayed together, with Contador in the mix and well supported by team-mates Rafal Majka and Roman Kreuziger.

But there was one last surprise in store for the unlucky Spaniard, who was caught up in the collapse of the final kilometre kite only to emerge unscathed and without a further loss of time.

“Although the stage had just one climb, the pace was high throughout the day," Contador said.

"It also was a climb with strong winds. Despite the headwind, the average speed was high and that combined with the heat took its toll on some riders, so I decided to go to the back of the group.

"It's true that this change in rhythm can create gaps but on the other hand you ride well protected from the wind. My body welcomed that and it saved the day for me.”

A sterner test awaits Contador on Stage 8, with the massive Col du Tourmalet the first order of business with three further categorised climbs immediately after to test his legs and recuperative abilities.

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