Vuelta a España race leader Remco Evenepoel crashed during stage 12, sliding out on a sweeping right hand bend 50km from the summit finish at Peñas Blancas.
No-one else was involved in the crash, which took place on a descent mid-stage during a spell of relative calm for the peloton and with a break of 32 riders some 10 minutes up the road.
The QuickStep-AlphaVinyl leader apparently suffered scrapes to his right leg and arm, and after remounting spoke briefly to race officials in a following car, but no more serious injuries. His teammates waited for the Belgian who returned to the peloton in less than 10km as it passed through the coastal city of Marbella.
His crash, the first major difficulty to befall Evenepoel in this year’s Vuelta, came with less than an hour to race to the foot of the one classified climb of the day, the summit finish at Peñas Blancas above Estepona.
While Evenepoel enjoys a healthy lead of 2:41 Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the general classification ahead of the summit finish, the crash will add another angle to the battle to top, with the 22-year-old set to be tested by his rivals less than an hour after hitting the deck.
On Wednesday’s stage 11, Evenepoel’s teammate Julian Alaphilppe fell heavily and dislocated his shoulder. The reigning World Champion had to quit the race in an ambulance, while QuickStep had already lost Pieter Serry to COVID-19 earlier in the race.
Click below to view a video of Evenepoel’s fall.
⏪🚴♂️ Caída | Crash 😓 El líder @EvenepoelRemco – @qst_alphavinyl se ha ido al suelo en una curva. Ha podido reincorporarse sin aparentes problemas.❤️ The GC leader Remco Evenepoel goes down on a corner but soon returns to the bunch without any obvious issues.#LaVuelta22 pic.twitter.com/RrEcyOHLsgSeptember 1, 2022