Carlos Betancur has been forced out of the Vuelta a España following his crash on the descent of the Alto del Garbí, the final climb on stage six of the race.
The Movistar Team rider was sitting in 16th place overall and had shown his best performance so far in the Vuelta today, by making it into the seven-man GC group created by a series of attacks from Alberto Contador. However, the Colombian couldn’t avoid the crash by Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who was descending just before him.
Betancur managed to complete the stage, crossing the line 12 minutes after the winner, before being transferred to the University Hospital of Sagunto. The Colombian underwent there a CT scan and radiological checks to his pelvis, which ruled out any damage to his head and hip.
However, X-ray tests on his right ankle revealed a fracture to the external malleolus, which required a plaster cast that will prevent Betancur from continuing in the 2017 Vuelta. The Movistar Team has later been moved to the La Fe hospital in Valencia, in order to have surgery to his face to heal the wounds produced by the crash.
After a good Tour de France for him (18th place overall), Betancur had become the Movistar Team’s main chance for the overall classification following the crash suffered by Dani Moreno at Tarragona’s finale on stage four Tuesday, an incident the Spaniard is still suffering from.