FORMER WINNER ALBERTO Alberto Contador has pulled out of the Tour de France on after crashing badly on the 10th stage.
The Spaniard’s withdrawal was the second major abandonment of the 101st edition of the Grand Boucle following that of reigning champion Chris Froome last Wednesday.
The two-time winner crashed on a pass between the Petit Ballon climb and the Col du Platzerwasel, needing lengthy medical attention to patch up his knee before getting going again.
The 31-year-old also needed to change bikes and a shoe before restarting while he received further attention from his team car as he continued the race.
He had lost almost four minutes on the peloton by the time he got going again while three teammates dropped back to help try to pace him back.
After his crash the Astana teammates of his main rival Vincenzo Nibali took over at the front of the peloton, although they did not appear to significantly raise the tempo.
The 10th stage from Mulhouse included seven categorised climbs, four of which are first categories, and a brutal uphill finish to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Up front a 13-man breakaway was being led by polkadot jersey wearer Tony Martin, who won Sunday’s ninth stage following a 150km escape.