The two-time former winner crashed on a fast descent on Monday’s 10th stage
and suffered a broken shinbone, forcing him to pull out of the Tour.
The Spaniard is known as one of the better descenders in the peloton but it
was the desire to refuel on route that caught him out.
“I grabbed a (nutritional) bar, I had only one hand on the handlebars and I
hit a pothole,” he said.
“I’m sad and disappointed, a lot of effort and sacrifice has been ruined.
“I had prepared better for the Tour than ever before, I wanted to win the
Contador’s retirement from the Tour followed that of reigning champion
Chris Froome, who broke his hand and wrist in crashes before quitting last
He has since said he will now aim for the Vuelta a Espana, which begins at
the end of August, and took to Twitter to wish Contador a speedy recovery and
a meeting at the Spanish Grand Tour.
But Contador, 31, said he couldn’t be sure he would be fit in time.
“The recovery time is between five or six weeks and three in the best case
scenario,” he said.
“I’m not ruling it out (riding the Vuelta) it depends on how I progress.”
If the pair were to meet at the Vuelta it would be a repeat of their battle
two years ago.
Froome had finished the Tour in second place riding for teammate Bradley
Wiggins and wanted to test himself as a team leader.
He had already finished second on the Vuelta the year before when again
riding for Wiggins, who managed only third.
Contador was coming back from his two-year doping suspension and the Vuelta
was his first major race.
He went on to win, pipping Spanish rivals Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim
Rodriguez, the latter of which will again target the Vuelta this year after
his Giro d’Italia plans were ruined by a crash.
Froome started the race well, initially battling Rodriguez for the lead,
but in the final week tiredness from the Tour caught up with him and he faded
to a distant fourth.