Tinkoff Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov believes that Alberto Contador would have won the Tour de France had he not crashed out with a broken tibia on stage 10.
Contador fell mid-way through the stage and despite carrying on for nearly 20 kilometres was forced to abandon. Although the Spaniard was over two minutes down on his main rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), the pair were expected to challenge for the maillot jaune all the way to Paris.
However with another stage win to his name and the yellow jersey back on his shoulders, Nibali looks in a commanding position as the race reaches its first rest day.
“It was an accident. He said there’s a bump and he was eating. He’s gone for an x-ray. I don’t know exactly what happened,” said a disconsolate Tinkov at the end of stage 10.
“He said he was eating a bar and then he hit a bump. It’s like a bad dream but this is cycling. That’s what I said when Froome crashed out.”
Contador came into the Tour de France as a leading contender and had raced well throughout the 2014 season. Despite losing significant time to Nibali and his other rivals on the stage to Arenberg, he showed signs of fight on stage 8, attacking and splitting the lead group on the final climb. Morale and belief in the Tinkoff Saxo camp appeared to be high.
“I’m confident in Alberto and I think he would have won the Tour,” Tinkov added.
“He was strongest here and he would have won but that’s cycling. He’s strong, he’s stronger than Nibali in my view. We’ll try next year.”