The 2014 Tour de France is down another former champion and race favorite.
On Monday's mountain stage, two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador was forced to abandon the race after a crash at the bottom of one of the day's massive climbs. He tried to soldier on but eventually decided he couldn't continue and hopped into the team car for a ride to the finish.
Contador was riding in the peloton on the day with most of the other major competitors in the field when he suffered a crash. Reports suggested that the problem was the frame on Contador's bike literally snapped in half. He lost nearly four minutes on the road while he was treated medically and he awaited a new bike.
A trio of his teammates waited for him on the road ahead and tried to pace him back to the peloton but Contador never looked comfortable, receiving constant treatment and mechanical work on his new bike on the road before he gave in.
It went from a disappointing story to a rather amazing one after the stage when word came down that Contador suffered a broken tibia on the crash. Remember, he got back on the bike and tried to keep racing uphill ... on a broken leg.
Contador, who won the Tour in 2007 and again in 2009, came into the 2014 Tour as one of the two main favorites to year the Yellow in Paris. When defending champion Chris Froome abandoned the race just a couple of days in, it made Contador the favorite to win but now with him out as well, the field is wide open and it's going to be a tremendous opportunity for a host of hopefuls. The 2014 Tour is guaranteed to have a first-time winner.
Froome sent his well wishes to Contador on Twitter, expressing the sentiments of all Tour fans.
Big loss for the TDF today. Recover well @albertocontador & I hope to see you at the Vuelta.— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 14, 2014
If the broken tibia report is true, Froome probably won't get his wish.