Nairo Quintana abandons Vuelta a Espana

Colombian overall hope Nairo Quintana quits Tour of Spain after second crash in two days

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has quit the Vuelta a Espana after crashing for the second time in two days.

The Colombian race favourite crashed heavily after hitting road-side barriers during Tuesday’s individual time trial whilst wearing the red leader’s jersey. After losing over four minutes to stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), and over three minutes to his GC rivals, Quintana’s overall chances were severely diminished.

During Wednesday’s stage 11, Quintana crashed again, allegedly with a press motorbike. He was taken by ambulance to the medical centre for x-rays and was found to have broken his scapula (shoulder blade). Steve Morabito (BMC) was also involved in the crash, and withdrew from the race.

Quintana was favoured for the overall win after claiming the Giro d’Italia in May.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) currently leads the race ahead of Quintana’s team-mate Alejandro Valverde. Valverde will now assume sole leadership of Movistar.

Britain’s Chris Froome (Sky) is fifth overall after putting in a mediocre – by his standards – ride in the time trial.

Both Contador and Froome were forced to abandon the Tour de France in July due to crash injuries.

Nairo Quintana after a crash on stage eleven of the 2014 Tour of Spain

Nairo Quintana after a crash on stage eleven of the 2014 Tour of Spain