Alejandro Valverde suffered a nasty fall during stage seven of the Vuelta a España, subsequently abandoning the race.
The Spaniard had been on the offensive alongside Ineos' Richard Carapaz and as the riders hit a descent the Movistar man slid out, thankfully going through a gap in the barriers rather than hitting them at speed.
Valverde's fall occurred in the final 45km of the stage, which culminates atop a category one summit finish, as the red jersey group began to get whittled down, hitting a pothole and losing control of his bike as he fell down a verge.
The 41-year-old got back to his feet and was then subjected to extensive medical checks.
🎥😥 @alejanvalverde sufre una caída después de su ataque. ¡Mucho ánimo, campeón!🇪🇸 Crash for Alejandro Valverde @Movistar_Team just after his attack. Cheer up, sir! 🙌#LaVuelta21 pic.twitter.com/MFn1iMZQuUAugust 20, 2021
What a scare...fall for Alejandro Valverde while marching on the attack ahead of the favourites," Movistar tweeted. "The Murcian lost his bike to a pothole and fell down an embankment. He is very sore, especially his right shoulder.
Race radio then confirmed Valverde was back on his bike, being pushed on by team-mates, looking to be getting back towards the GC group but soon came to a stop again, emotional as he climbed off, abandoning his home Grand Tour.
"He's tried but it will not be possible," Movistar soon added. "After receiving the OK from the race doctor, and after covering a few kilometers with several of his team-mates, Valverde is forced to abandon."
Valverde was the second high-profile abandon on stage seven of the Spanish Grand Tour, as last year's third-place overall Hugh Carthy climbed off.
The Spaniard was taken to a hospital in Alicante where initial scans didn't reveal any fractures but further examinations took place due to the amount of pain he was in.
A late night CT scan then revealed he had broken his collarbone and Valverde will now have an operation in Murcia on Saturday August 21. He will only be able to return to racing after making a full recovery.
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