The Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Urán withdrew on Wednesday from the Vuelta a España due to breathing issues caused by bronchial asthma, according to a statement by his team, Omega Pharma-Quick Step.
Urán was in 16th place in the overall standings after Monday’s stage, which was the 16th of 21 stages in the race, one of the three major road races on the cycling calendar, along with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
Tuesday was a rest day for the riders.
“We had hoped that the day off would help, but the situation worsened over the last 24 hours,” Urán said in a statement released by his team. “I can’t compete in this condition. I am very disappointed, but in reality this is the best decision.”
The team said that Urán will be evaluated by team doctors in Belgium early next week.
“The team and I are in agreement that I’ll go to Belgium next week to get a better idea about the origin of this problem,” Urán said. The Colombian cyclist reached as high as third in the overall rankings after the 13th stage, but had been losing ground ever since.
“The objective is to recuperate in time for the world championships” at the end of September, Urán added. “In general, I’m in good shape, so I’d like to go. Of course, my participation will depend on the test results of the next few days.”
Urán is the second prominent cyclist from Colombia to quit the Spanish Vuelta. Nairo Quintana, who led the race in its middle stages, withdrew from the race after two accidents that left him with a fractured shoulder.
Alberto Contador, the Spanish rider for the Tinkoff-Saxo team, is the overall leader of the race, with Alejandro Valverde of Movistar and Sky’s Chris Froome less than two minutes behind.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.