Julian Alaphilippe crashed out of the Vuelta a España after coming down heavily on stage 11.
With about 64km to go, on an innocuous looking corner, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider’s bike slipped out from under him forcing him crashing to the floor. He was then taken away from the race in an ambulance.
At this stage of the race, with ten more days still to come, losing the World Champion is a huge blow for his teammate and race leader Remco Evenepoel.
The Frenchman was then seen on the ground looking visibly in pain clutching his shoulder. After receiving assistance from race medical staff, Alaphilippe was pictured having his arm strapped into a splint before he was helped onto a stretcher and into the back of an ambulance.
After losing Pieter Serry to Covid-19 earlier in the race, the loss of Julian Alaphilippe leaves Remco Evenepoel with just five teammates ahead of a crucial weekend in the mountains.
This latest unfortunate incident for Julian Alaphilippe continues his miserable 2022 season. The extent of his latest injuries remains to be seen although it is unlikely that he will now participate in the upcoming World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, and therefore go for a third title in a row.
Earlier this year, Alaphilippe crashed out of Liège–Bastogne–Liège suffering horrific injuries including a collapsed lung and multiple fractures. The Frenchman’s crash was so extreme that fellow countryman Romain Bardet (DSM) went to his aid before medical staff arrived.
After a lengthy period off the bike, the 30-year-old reigning World Champion then was left out of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Tour de France line up for the first time in five years.
Alaphilippe then returned to racing at the French national championships but admitted that his heavy crash in Belgium still played on his mind (opens in new tab).
He said: “It’s not that I’m scared, but I think on some descents, some things may have changed a bit, these may be things that will seem weird at first.”
The Frenchman celebrated a comeback win at the Tour de Wallonie before he then tested positive for Covid-19 forcing him out of action once more.
Earlier today, Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) along with Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) both tested positive for Coronavirus forcing them out of the Spanish Grand Tour too, along with three riders from Equipe Kern Pharma.