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Vuelta favourite Quintana crashes out of race

Favourite Nairo Quintana was taken to hospital after abandoning the Vuelta a Espana having crashed for the second day in a row, organizers said on Wednesday.

Vuelta favourite Quintana crashes out of race
Quintana went down in a group crash just 20km (12 miles) into Wednesday's 153.4km 11th stage from Pamplona to San Miguel de Aralar. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

The 24-year-old Colombian, winner of the Giro d'Italia earlier in May, had crashed in Tuesday's 10th stage individual time-trial.

That cost him the race lead as he finished more than 4 minutes down on stage winner Tony Martin of Germany to drop to 11th overall.

But he went down again in a group crash just 20km (12 miles) into Wednesday's 153.4km 11th stage from Pamplona to San Miguel de Aralar and decided enough was enough.

SEE ALSO: Spain's top ten bike rides: The Local gallery

"Nairo Quintana felt pain in his right shoulder and was taken to hospital by ambulance to evaluate if there are any fractures," said a Movistar team statement.

Quintana had begun Tuesday's 36.7km race against the clock with a 3sec lead over Alberto Contador and was within touching distance at the first time check following an early climb.

But he crashed on the descent and went on to lose more than 3min 30sec to the Spaniard, who began Wednesday's stage with a 27sec advantage over Alejandro Valverde.

Quintana's abandonment continues a sorry season for the favourites at Grand Tours. Contador and then-reigning champion Chris Froome both crashed out of July's Tour de France.

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VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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