In the hours that have passed since Alberto's crash, more details have emerged and the complete story is now clear.
“Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent. He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road. Alberto was in the shape of his life and the entire team had our eyes fixed on the podium in Paris and the work we would have to do to get there”. -Bjarne Riis, Director Sportif, Tinkoff-Saxo
Teammates were first to communicate the crash to the team car via race radio. Reports from Tinkoff-Saxo are saying their team car was passing closely to a Team Belkin vehicle and bikes on the roof racks became entangled between the two cars causing Alberto’s spare bike to be broken into two pieces. When a racer has a heavy crash, a mechanic will immediately provide a spare bike as a safety and performance precaution. As Alberto’s spare bike was destroyed, Nicolas Roche immediately offered his own race bike so that Alberto could continue the race. With the arrival of the second team car, Alberto was provided his own, secondary spare bike. Unfortunately after riding approximately 18km with what is now known to be a broken tibia, Alberto Contador was forced to abandon the 2014 edition of the Tour de France.
11:05 am PST
We are concerned about the well-being of Alberto and will be keeping you up to date on information from the incident here. This is DS Bjarne Riis description of the crash, "“Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent. He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road. Alberto was in the shape of his life and the entire team had our eyes fixed on the podium in Paris and the work we would have to do to get there”. Reports from Tinkoff-Saxo are saying the team car drove over the frame and Alberto was given a new bike but, after riding 18km further with a broken leg he had to abandon. Please check back here for the most up to date information.
10:38 am PST
All of us at Specialized are devastated to see Alberto Contador withdraw from the Tour. He is a true champion with the heart of a warrior and he had a great chance at Yellow this year. We have spoken to Alberto's brother as well as his personal mechanic (Faustino Muñoz) and the mechanic who was at the scene (Rune Kristensen), and contrary to some early, unconfirmed reports, frame failure was not involved in Alberto's incident today. Nicolas Roche was involved in a separate incident today and while his bike was laying on the road it was run over by a car causing it to break, potentially giving rise to the initial inaccurate reporting. Live race reporting is difficult and sometimes mistakes are made. We are continuing to research the events of today and will share any further details as we learn more.
(note: this story was based on initial accounts on the ground and turned out to be incorrect. Also, it should have named Stephen Roche, not Nicolas Roche)