Alberto Contador (Astana) has been diagnosed with a micro-fracture in his elbow but will continue in the Giro d?Italia.

The 2007 Tour de France winner crashed during Saturday?s eighth stage to Tivoli. He finished in the bunch on both Saturday and Sunday but an x-ray carried during Monday?s rest day revealed a small fissure fracture at the head of the radius bone of his left forearm.

Contador admitted he suffered during Sunday?s stage and could hardly change gears with his left hand, but is determined to continue in the Giro.

?I do not intend to leave the race,? he said in a statement issued by the Astana team.

?As all riders know, winning a Grand Tour takes some hard work, luck and health. Unfortunately, having a small fracture does not make the journey to Milan any easier, but I?m motivated and will try to fight through the pain.?

?During my training ride today, I felt my elbow, but I could do the normal or desired efforts. So, why should I leave the race? I?m tough, I?m going to stay. In the last few days my legs felt better and better. The longer I?m in the Giro, the better I feel. ?

Contador?s biggest problem could be Tuesday?s 39.4km time trial. He is likely to be in severe pain when he rest his forearms on his aero bars.

?I hope I still make a good time trial. The doctors have told me that it is a small fracture. With a bit luck, I can recover a bit during the ?easier? stages of Wednesday to Friday,? he said.

Contador is currently eighth overall in the Giro d?Italia, 7:56 behind race leader Giovanni Visconti of Italy.

After attacking with Danilo Di Luca (LPR), Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) during the first mountain stage of the Giro, Contador was expected to emerge as team leader at Astana for the second part of the Giro.

Now directeur sportif Sean Yates will have to hope Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer can take on Ricco in the Dolomites.

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage nine: Cavendish misses out in sprint
Stage eight: Ricco wins again
Stage seven: Di Luca, Ricco and Contador gain time on rivals
Stage six: Italians clean up
Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain
Stage four: Cavendish wins
Stage three: Bennati romps home
Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage
Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS
Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]
Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]
Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win
Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe
Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]
Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success
Bettini looking for final Giro glory
Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro
Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive
Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery. New photos added daily

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Rest day 1: How the favourites are doing
Giro Britannia part two: From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star
Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview
Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?
Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming
Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule