Curse of the contender: Nairo Quintana suffers Vuelta crash

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Curse of the contender: Nairo Quintana joins list of high-profile crashes

Colombian joins big-name Grand Tour victims as race ends on stage 11

Injuries and illness have beset Chris Froome’s season, so sadly there was an air of inevitability when he crashed out of the Tour de France.

Wins at the Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie have been interspersed with crashing at the Criterium du Dauphine, while wearing the yellow jersey, and missing Tirreno-Adriatico with a back injury.

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His Tour crash, an innocuous collision in the middle of the peloton which led to him suffering a broken wrist before he crashed twice more on the slick tarmac of stage five, was doubly painful because there were no extenuating circumstances behind it.

Well placed overall, having showed well in Yorkshire over the first two stages too, Froome’s main ambition for the season was not to be fulfilled.

From the ashes came a Vuelta a Espana bid instead, but a further crash on stage seven – though he recovered to claim back some time overall with a late attack – was a sign all was not well.

His stage ten time trial, likewise, showed a man still short of race fitness, with him admitting he went off too quickly on the difficult course.

Nevertheless, Froome is at least still in contention and a strong showing in the mountains could soon have him occupying at least a podium spot again.

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