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

Some crashes mean the race is over before it has even truly begun – just ask Birmingham-born Irishman Dan Martin.

Martin’s heavy fall during the team time trial on stage one of the Giro d’Italia in Belfast meant not only was it race over but it also denied him the chance to race in front of his home crowds en-route to Dublin.

Dan Martin’s Giro d’Italia ended on the opening stage. (pic: Sirotti)

To cap matters, it was not first slice of huge misfortune either – a crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, as he closed in on a successful defence of his title at La Doyenne, already having denied him one major honour for the season.

Luck of the Irish it certainly was not.

Martin is back in action at the Vuelta, however, and having got through the stages he had marked as being the toughest for him, he stands a good chance of boosting his GC placing in the mountains.

He is also in contention for the green jersey should he choose to go down that route instead, currently sitting as the best-placed of the all-round riders after a couple of strong sprint showings.

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