bici de contador y zapatilla
Details of Alberto Contador’s Tour-ending crash
By Caley Fretz
Published Jul. 14, 2014
Alberto Contador stood on the wet grass, blood pouring out of a deep cut to his right knee. Photographers swirled around him, the race doctor attended to his injuries. He motioned to his mechanic, a hint of frustration etched across his face. He sat down, dejected, and changed out his left shoe, its buckle smashed to pieces.
He’d just crashed on the descent off the Petit Ballon, just the second of the day’s seven major climbs. Rival Vincenzo Nibali cruised up the road, gaining minutes.Perhaps it was optimism, or adrenaline, but Contador appeared calm, traces of pain just creeping into the edges of his face. He remounted and rode slowly away. Four teammates quickly came back to pace him.But optimism waned, and adrenaline wore off — the two were certainly connected. 10km later, Contador pulled the plug on this year’s Tour de France. He gave his mechanic a small hug and slumped into the team car.Confusion surrounded the crash; reports of a smashed bike, visions of exploded carbon, swirled around the press room and out through hundreds of thousands of television sets.
Initial reports on the Tour’s race radio, in French, and by NBC Sports’ Steve Porino, that Contador’s bike was “in pieces,” appear to be correct. “His frame snapped in half. They threw it in a heap in the back of the car,” Porino said, noting that he had arrived shortly after the crash.Contador’s bike broke in the lower third of his down tube and on the top tube just in front of his seat tube. Both tubes were broken clean through, with just a few fibers holding the two pieces of the frame together.
Specialized, Tinkoff-Saxo’s bike sponsor, initially denied reports that Contador’s bike had broken at all, either resulting in or as a result of the crash, or via some other externality. The company first stated that a bike had fallen off the roof of a car. That story was then amended — it still involved a car, but instead stated that Nicolas Roche’s bike had been run over earlier in the stage. This broken bike was the start of the rumors, it said.“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,” the original statement read.
But the photos do not lie. Contador is #31, and his race number is on the broken frame. The Roche incident relayed in this statement may be entirely factual, but it is clear that Contador’s bike broke as well.
Specialized later corrected itself again, stating that Contador’s bike that had been run over. A source within the team who was present at the scene of the crash explained that Contador’s mechanic, Faustino Munoz, grabbed his backup bike off the roof, then, seeing the condition of Contador, rushed to his aid, leaving the bike against the team car. The team car drove off and crushed the bike. Photos were taken, and the broken bike story took off.
UPDATE: However, a fourth version of events has since come to the fore, and it’s the most plausible yet. According to Specialized’s Giampaolo Mondini, one of Contador’s frames was broken while it was still on the roof. Following Contador’s crash, the team car had to rush to his aid and clipped the Belkin car as it passed, destroying the bike.“What happened next is that the team car tried to get recover position and get up to him, passing all the other team cars in doing so. The road was really narrow and the second bike on the roof ended up touching those on the Belkin team car. It was going pretty fast and the frame broke on top of the roof due to the impact,” Mondini told CyclingTips.
“When the car arrived to Contador, Roche had left his bike to the side [for Contador to use if necessary]. The people inside didn’t initially realize that the bike on the roof had been broken as things were so stressful. Everybody was a little bit confused. Contador got a third bike and got going, but unfortunately couldn’t continue in the race.”
The broken bike had Contador’s number on it, suggesting it was his primary bike. But it was also quite clean, suggesting it had been on the roof, rather than ridden. Most teams don’t put numbers on riders’ second bikes, but Munoz has done so in the past. It is plausible that the broken bike had indeed been on the roof of the team car, rather than under Contador. CyclingTips was able to corroborate the crash story with the driver of the Belkin car. The fourth version of the story, it seems, is finally the correct one.The timeline from the crash onwards:
Contador hit the ground while trying to eat near the bottom of the descent.Roche stopped, left Contador his McLaren Tarmac.
Contador got onto his third bike after the crash, an S-Works Tarmac with a normal Tinkoff paint job, and without a race number. His first bike had been crashed, and his second obliterated by an impact with another car. A brief shot on television showed his mechanic picking up his crashed bike, still in one piece.
Roche finished the stage on his second bike, rather than his McLaren. The story of Roche’s bike getting run over seems to have been born of the confusion surrounding the incident.
Whether the frame was broken by a car or a pothole, the result is the same. Contador is out of the Tour de France.
This story continues to evolve. Check back for updates.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Hood and Matthew Beaudin contributed reporting from La Planche des Belles Filles; Logan VonBokel contributed reporting from Colorado.
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/timeline-details-alberto-contadors-tour-ending-crash_336328#TkXDxpr3YUxMRHp8.99
Tinkoff Saxo tangle with Belkin bikes identified as cause of snapped Contador frame
Company statement backed by Belkin account; ends speculation
by Shane Stokes with Dave Everett's contribution - July 15, 2014
Following hours of speculation and confusion about the circumstances of the crash which took Alberto Contador out of the Tour de France, the Specialized company has clarified how one of the rider’s bikes was broken in half.It has stated categorically that the badly damaged frame shown on French television did not occur in the impact, but rather was a spare machine damaged on the roof of the Tinkoff Saxo team car during the frantic moments after the Spaniard fell.
According to the company’s team liaison Giampaolo Mondini, the rider fell on a straight road when he was descending at speed. “He was trying to take some bars from his pocket, the tarmac was irregular and he lost the control of his bike and fell,” he told CyclingTips.
“What happened next is that the team car tried to get recover position and get up to him, passing all the other team cars in doing so. The road was really narrow and the second bike on the roof ended up touching those on the Belkin team car. It was going pretty fast and the frame broke on top of the roof due to the impact.
“When the car arrived to Contador, Roche had left his bike to the side [for Contador to use if necessary]. The people inside didn’t initially realise that the bike on the roof had been broken as things were so stressful. Everybody was a little bit confused. Contador got a third bike and got going, but unfortunately couldn’t continue in the race.”
Mixed messages lead to questions about what happened:
The account comes hours after the accident and after a period of considerable confusion about what exactly had occurred. That confusion led to speculation and rumours about Contador’s crash, and questions about whether or not the company was telling the full story.The sequence of events started to unfold when Contador hit the deck between the first category climbs of the Petit Ballon and the Col du Platzerwasel. He suffered a blow to his leg which left it bloodied and cut. He rode on for several kilometres before then stopping due to the pain; after the stage, it was confirmed that he had fractured his right tibia and would need an operation.
Riders in the peloton who saw the crash told CyclingTips that Contador slipped off his handlebar and went down in the middle of a long straight road by himself. They added that there was no indication of a buckled frame.Team Manager Bjarne Riis said afterwards that the rider 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.”Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) told Spanish radio that he saw Contador slip off his bars. “I saw him crash right in front of me. His handlebars slipped when he hit a pothole. I realized at the feed zone that he abandoned.”TV images showed a snapped bicycle being loaded into the team car, leading to television broadcasters suggesting the frame had snapped and caused the crash.
The team’s bike sponsor Specialized issued a statement several hours ago dismissing this. That reads as follows:
“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.”
This initial story was clearly contradicted by the television images which showed the snapped frame bearing Contador’s own number rather than that of Roche.
Amid the confusion, Mondini then gave a different account. He told CyclingTips that during the stage, Contador’s spare bike had fallen off the roof of the team car and that it had broken with the impact.He said that as a result of that, when Contador crashed he was given a bike by Nicolas Roche, who was on the new McLaren Specialized Tarmac machine.
The confusion continued when a different source close to Specialized told CyclingTips that after Contador fell his spare bike was taken off the roof of the Tinkoff Saxo car by his mechanic Faustino Munoz, when then went to the rider’s aid. The car’s driver was unaware of the location of the bike and accidentally ran over it, again resulting in the snapped frame.Several Tour riders expressed surprise at this, telling CyclingTips that from their experience, spare bikes don’t have race numbers on them [image].
However, according to Mondini, Contador’s personal mechanic Munoz – who is known as a perfectionist – ensures that his rider’s number is on both the usual race bike and also his spare.The multiple accounts led to a lot of speculation about what happened and if the company was trying to avoid the negative publicity a snapped frame would bring.
However Mondini’s latest account appears to be corroborated by the Dutch website Nusport.nl. It quotes team manager Merijn Zeeman, who was driving the team car, as saying that the Tinkoff Saxo team car did indeed pass too closely to the Belkin car and caused the bikes to clash.He said that this impact caused a bike to come clear of the roof rack and to clatter onto the team’s windscreen.
The day has reflected a double blow for the company. Firstly, it lost the Tinkoff Saxo team leader, one of its top riders and a competitor it had invested in to win the Tour. Secondly, the confusion and the initial erroneous statement did little to stem the questioning about the cause of the accident.Specialized does have a silver lining, though; Astana leader Vincenzo Nibali retook the yellow jersey with a dominant ride, and is the clear favourite to win the race in Paris. He too is on a Specialized, as was the rider who spent the day in the mountains jersey and towing the break along, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step).
It was a tough day for the Tinkoff Saxo squad, but the triple team backing ensures that there is still something for Specialized to celebrate in the Tour.