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Contador looks to Vuelta after Tour exit

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POSTED July 15, 2014 11:24 p.m.

MADRID (AP) — Former Tour de France champion Alberto Contador does not need surgery on his injured right leg and hopes to defy his doctors by racing in next month’s Spanish Vuelta.

Contador, a two-time winner of cycling’s biggest race, broke his shin in a violent fall on Monday to leave the Tour at the 10th stage.

The 31-year-old Spaniard flew back to Madrid on Tuesday, where he underwent exhaustive medical checks.

“The doctor told me that surgery would only lead to more trauma on the knee and would only delay my recovery more,” Contador said in a statement on Tuesday. “The good news is that no tendons or ligaments were damaged and the fracture is in the best possible place.

“I’ll have to stop everything for two weeks and, until the wound heals, my leg has to be immobilized.”

Contador continues to grapple with his early exit, which left Vincenzo Nibali in command.

“I couldn’t sleep last night thinking this situation wasn’t real but, when I opened my eyes, I could see it was,” Contador said.

Contador was determined his leg could heal in time for the Vuelta, which begins Aug. 23.

“The doctors have told me it’s practically impossible that I’ll be able to race in the Spanish Vuelta, but let’s see how my leg progresses,” the Tinkoff-Saxo Bank rider said. “The doctors have not given me any hope but I will work very hard in the coming weeks and let’s see what that leads to.”

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