Nairo Quintana’s hopes of winning his second grand tour this year were dashed Wednesday after a second crash in as many days forced him to pull out of the Vuelta a España.
His team, Movistar, said on Twitter that the Colombian cyclist, 24, was felling “pain in his right shoulder, (had) been moved by ambulance to a medical center,” after the race’s 11th stage.
The crash involved a group of riders. José Luis Arrieta, a Movistar team manager, said Quintana would be operated on his shoulder on Thursday.
Quintana shot onto the biggest stages of international cycling in July 2013, when he finished second at the Tour de France.
He won the first major tournament of 2014, the Giro d'Italia, earlier this summer but was held out of this year's Tour de France by Movistar in order to prepare for the Spanish Vuelta.
Quintana also crashed in Tuesday’s individual time-trial after hitting a guard rail, flipping over and slamming onto the road.
Taking a downhill curve too fast in Tuesday’s individual time-trial, Quintana chose a bad line and could not pull out in time. He hit a guard rail, flipped over and slammed onto the road.
Movistar staff quickly helped him back on his bike, and he managed to finish the stage.
He lost precious minutes in his overall time, forcing him to relinquish the red leader’s jersey to Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, whom Quintana trailed by 3 minutes, 25 seconds after Tuesday's stage.
“My left ankle (hurts) and I also have blows all over my body, but I hope it’s nothing serious,” Quintana said after the 10th stage. “This is cycling. I lost some time and I might be switching to help out (teammate Alejandro Valverde) so we can conquer the overall podium.”
He added that he was fortunate to “avoid having a bigger crash and I did not hurt myself really badly.”
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.