Benjamin Noval, a key member of Alberto Contador's Team Saxo-Tinkoff, will continue in the Tour de France despite suffering a torn tendon in his hand after colliding with a spectator's camera.
Noval, a member of the so-called 'Spanish Armada' who guided Contador to several Grand Tour victories, was hurt during today's team time trial in Nice.
He collided with the camera shortly after the first intermediate time check and soon dropped off the back of his team-mates as he reacted to the pain.
"Noval suffered a hard blow to his hand and tore his tendon in his left index finger causing severe pain," a team statement said.
"The pain will have an effect on Noval's abilities in the race and surgery might be needed after the Tour de France.
"However, Benjamin Noval will be on the start line tomorrow."
Noval rode with Contador in the 2007 and 2010 Tours, both won by the Spaniard although Contador was later stripped of the 2010 title for a doping infraction.
Along with Daniel Navarro and Jesus Hernandez, Noval formed the 'Spanish Armada' of support riders for Contador, although Navarro now rides for Cofidis.
Contador is seen as the most likely challenger to strong favourite Chris Froome in this year's Tour.
One of Saxo's support vehicles following the riders was also seen to clip a policeman on the final run-in to the finish.
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