Nairo Quintana set to miss the rest of the season

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Nairo Quintana could miss the rest of the season after crashing during the Vuelta a Espana.

Quintana crashed on stage 10's individual time trial before falling off again during stage 11 with around 20km to go.

The Colombian will be out for between six to eight weeks with a fractured shoulder blade but with the cycling season ending in October it is unlikely he will ride again this season.

High hopes for the season

Quintana was looking to win his second Grand Tour this year after winning the Giro d'Italia and all was going to plan going into Stage 10's time trial as he was wearing the leader's jersey.

Movistar's team doctor admitted losing their team leader was extremely disappointing but they are hoping he can recover as soon as possible.

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According to Sky Sports, Alfredo Zuniga said: “It's a big blow for all of us. The team had planned this Vuelta thoroughly - we relied on him, we knew he was going to be up front.

“It's just bad luck, and something we unfortunately come across in cycling very often. The important thing is finding a quick solution to this, keeping Nairo calm and recovering him with help by the doctors."

Lengthy absence

Quintana will miss the UCI Road World Championships in September and could also miss the final race of the season, the Tour of Beijing.

Orthopaedic surgeon Jesus Alfaro believes Quintana could get back on his bike within the next month but competing on it is a completely different matter.

Alfaro said: “The fracture extends like the tail of a mouse to the scapula. We fixed it with two screws.

“The normal process would be keeping his right arm in a sling for two to three weeks. Then he would be able to move it. After that, he could be getting on his bike fast, in two to four weeks, and after six to eight weeks, he could start competing.”

New team leader

With the departure of Quintana, Alejandro Valverde will now lead team Movistar at the Vuelta. The Spaniard is currently in second place in the overall standings, only 20 seconds behind Alberto Contador.

Valverde is used to being the team leader so he will take up the position quite comfortably.

The Colombian will be a huge miss for the team though as he was the race favourite going into the event and he had already proven during the first 11 stages that he was going to be the one to beat.

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Vuelta a Espana
Alberto Contador

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