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Spaniard who crashed twice in opening days was struggling with a fever today

Alberto Contador has abandoned the Tour de France with around 100km of today's Stage 9 to Andorra-Arcalis remaining.

The Tinkoff rider, who has been struggling for the past week following two crashes on the opening weekend of the race in Normandy, had a fever as he started today's 184.5km stage from Vielha Val d'Aran in Spain.

Sean Yates, the team's sports director, told France Televisions during today's stage: “Alberto had a bit of fever this morning. He told us at the beginning of the race that he wasn't feeling super and it's obvious.

"We've told him to stay quiet. Now the peloton is going slower, which is better for his recovery after the fast start this morning.”

Contador, winner of the race in 2007 and 2009, seemed to ignore those orders to "stay quiet," going on the counter-attack early on to bridge across to a large breakaway group.

He was soon back in the main bunch, however, and then found himself at the rear of the peloton, dropping back to his team car several times before finally abandoning.

The Spaniard started today's stage in 20th place overall, 3 minutes 12 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome of Team Sky.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.