Cycling can be a torturous beast, with a rider’s hopes and ambitions very much at the whim of lady luck.
Crashes are part and parcel of the sport, almost an initiation ritual to some, and there has certainly been no shortage of high-profile victims on some of the biggest stages of all this year.
Nairo Quintana’s time trial crash, misjudging a corner, colliding with a barrier and somersaulting his handlebars, was just the latest example of a big-name contender seeing their race ambitions destroyed in one flash moment.
It was ironic, to an extent, that the Movistar man’s red jersey passed to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who himself is racing for the first time since seeing his Tour de France hopes wiped out by a leg-breaking crash on a rapid descent.
And those are just two of the big names have suffered this season. We have taken a closer look at the men to have fallen victim to the ‘curse of the contenders’ at this season’s Grand Tours.