Quintana, who had already lost time on stage 15, began to lose contact with 14km of the brutal Col de la Madeleine, 76km from the finish and still with the Col de la Loze to come.
The Arkéa-Samsic rider looked to back to his best early in 2020, winning back-to-back stage races in France before the coronavirus break, which catapulted him back to favourite status after struggling in the Tour since 2016.
But Quintana’s preparation was compromised in the weeks leading up to the Tour when his was hit by a car while training at home in Colombia.
While the 30-year-old didn’t suffer any serious injuries, he had to spend a week away from the bike to recover after the fall, which has taken its toll on his 2020 ambitions.
Despite crashing on the opening stage in awful weather conditions in Nice and falling again on stage 13 to Puy Mary, Quintana was still sat comfortably in the top-10 overall heading into stage 15 to Grand Colombier.
But under the pressure set by Jumbo-Visma, Quintana cracked on the Colombier with 13km to the summit, losing almost four minutes by the finish.
The bad news continued for Quintana on the huge GC day on stage 17 to the Col de la Loze as the bunch thinned out on the Madeleine, with Quintana losing contact before the rest of the overall contenders.
Speaking ahead of the stage, Quintana knew he was in for a rough ride: “The final is spectacular and I’ll surely have to suffer because I’m not at 100 per cent after my falls.
“I won’t be enjoying myself much.”
Having started the day in 10th place, 5-34 off the race lead, Quintana had lost nine minutes by the time he was descending the Madeleine and virtually slipping a long way back on GC.