Team Sky’s Vuelta a España leader Michal Kwiatkowski has vowed to press on in the race after he was brought down in a crash on the road to the formidable Lagos de Covadonga climb.
The Polish national champion went down 25km from the finish line during stage 15 of last Grand Tour of the season, after AG2R La Mondiale’s Alexandre Geniez hit the deck in front.
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Kwiatkowski has been given the rare opportunity of leading the British team in a three-week race, but his efforts have been hindered by bad luck.
Posting on Twitter after Sunday’s stage, the 28-year-old said: “Unfortunately there was no chance to react, when Alex Geniez fell just in the front of me.
“I’m fine and hope that he is as well. Fingers crossed for the bad luck to be over this season.”
Sky confirmed their mountain domestique-turned leader was involved in the stage 15 crash after a touch of wheels in the peloton.
The Sky all-rounder is still bandaged after a crash near the final of stage seven in this Vuelta, when he and teammates Sergio Henao and Tao Geoghegan Hart all came down on a descent.
Kwiatkowski is well out of GC contention, 23 minutes behind British leader Simon Yates and currently in 73rd place heading into the final rest day.
Sky’s first rider across the line was Colombian Sergio Henao in 21st place, followed by David de la Cruz nine seconds later in 27th.
Kwiatkowski’s fall from the overall top 10 has left him free to be more active in the race.
On stage 14, he rode out front for most of the 171km stage as part of a six-man breakaway.
The gamble resulted in the Pole losing time and slipping back to 20th position.
Riders now face a 32km time trial on the back of the rest day when the Vuelta returns on Tuesday.