La Planche des Belles Filles, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time champion Alberto Contador withdrew from the Tour de France after a crash during Monday's Stage 10 left him with a fractured tibia.
Contador took a fall on a mountain descent and had his right knee bandaged before attempting to ride again. He was more than four minutes behind the peloton when he re-started, then called for the team car about 30 minutes later in rainy conditions and decided against continuing.
"Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent," said Tinkoff- Saxo team director Bjarne Riis. "He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road."
Contador was unable to pedal because of the injury when he stopped. Tests later revealed the broken bone.
"Alberto has broken his tibia just below the knee," added Riis. "It's not a compound fracture, but it probably requires surgery. He will stay with us tonight and tomorrow he will travel back to Madrid to undergo further examinations and surgery if necessary."
The Spaniard won the 2007 and 2009 titles, then had his 2010 championship stripped for doping. He finished fourth last year.
Contador is the second former winner to withdraw this year, following defending champion Chris Froome's departure in Stage 5.