UTAH BEACH - Two-time former winner Alberto Contador suffered a scare after crashing badly on the opening stage of the Tour de France on Saturday.

Contador appeared to injure his shoulder in the fall. With just under 80km left, Spaniard Contador and one of his Tinkoff team-mates came down on a tight right-hand corner, bringing down Luke Rowe, the Sky team-mate of reigning champion Chris Froome, as well. Contador, 33, got up quickly and rode on, with Croatian team-mate Robert Kiserlovski lending him his bike, but his jersey was shredded around his right shoulder.

Several team-mates helped pace him back up to the peloton which had slightly slowed its tempo after his crash. Once back, though, he had to change his right shoe while riding his bike due to damaged caused in his crash -- briefly continuing to peddle wearing only a sock on his right foot.

He also received attention from the medical car as the race continued, having a large bandage placed on his injured shoulder. One of the doctors even had to rip more of his jersey to free up space to place various bandages.

The crash happened at a time when the pace was high in the peloton due to the possibilities of cross-winds causing splits in the pack. Out in front, a five-man breakaway was rapidly getting reeled in and had only just over 30sec in hand at the time Contador crashed.

Two years ago, the Spaniard had to pull out of the Tour after coming off his bike and breaking his leg on a fast descent on the 10th stage . Saturday's opening stage is a 188km trek from Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach. Contador is one of the favourites for overall victory alongside Briton Froome and Colombian Nairo Quintana.