Nicolas Roche has revealed that he gave his bike to Saxo-Tinkoff team leader Alberto Contador on Monday in a bid to help his team captain stay in the Tour de France.

In his diary for the Irish Independent, Roche revealed that Contador had hit a hole in the road on Monday’s tenth stage of the Tour and was sent flying from his bike to the side of the road, with his bike being broken in the process.

Roche donated his bike to his captain before waiting to get another one from the team car.

The Irish rider went on to reveal that Contador stopped again 2km later to have a gash below his knee, sustained in the crash, bandaged by the medical car, before attempting to continue in the race.

Contador rode on for 15km, but was struggling to hold the wheel of Roche and his other team-mates as they sought to make up a nine-minute deficit on the stage leaders.

The Spanish rider at that point retired from the race, where he was brought to the X-ray tent, to be told he had broken his right tibia, just below the knee.

Roche, riding in time-trial formation with five team-mates, eventually finished 28 minutes down on stage winner Vincenzo Nibali, dropping him to 51st place in the general classification.