Nairo Quintana (Movistar), a pre-race favorite to win the Vuelta a Espana, abandoned the Spanish grand tour Wednesday after crashing for the second time in two days.
Quintana went down hard in Tuesday’s time trial, clipping a guardrail with his rear wheel before being catapulted over his handlebars. He blamed his brakes in that crash, which occurred on a sweeping right-hand turn.
Quintana crashed again in Wednesday’s stage 11, about 20 kilometers into the 154km route from Pamplona to Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar. He abandoned on the spot.
“[Quintana] feels pain in his right-hand shoulder, has been moved by ambulance to a medical center to check on any fractures,” a Tweet from Movistar reads.
Quintana’s exit means Alejandro Valverde will be Movistar’s leader for the rest of the race. Valverde started stage 11 in second place, 27 seconds behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).
The 24-year-old Quintana won the Giro d’Italia in May. He took the Vuelta lead in stage 9 and was hoping to stay in red after Tuesday’s time trial, but he lost more than 3 minutes to Contador, whose effort put him into the race lead.