Richard Carapaz ruled out of La Vuelta with injury
Giro d'Italia champion Richard Carapaz has been ruled out of La Vuelta, his team Movistar confirmed on Thursday.
Carapaz crashed during a training race on Sunday and has failed to recover from injuries to his right shoulder, according to a statement released by Movistar:
" The Ecuadorian rider suffers from a significant contusion in his right shoulder, as well as several bruises, after a crash sustained in the Profronde van Etten-Leur criterium in the Netherlands, last Sunday. In spite of treatment received all over the week and the lack of fractures, the injury's evolution has advised for further precautions to allow it healing completely, which rules out against his appearance in the race."
Carapaz will be replaced in the team by Jose Joaquin Rojas, who was the named reserve and already on-call in Alicante.
- Wiggins: 'La Vuelta is tough and unpredictable... but I don't regret not winning it'
- 'Perhaps they are the two top favourites' - Contador tips Roglic and Lopez for Vuelta
- 2019 Vuelta teams: All the riders confirmed
- Blazin' Saddles: La Vuelta a Espana - 7 key stages of the 2019 race
Carapaz is strongly rumoured to be in his final weeks as a Movistar rider, with a move to Team Ineos expected for the 2020 season.
"Carapaz was rightly considered one of the favourites to win La Vuelta and looked to be in the sort of form to make him Movistar's main man in the third Grand Tour of the summer.
"His performance at the Giro was impressively strong and his absence will be a loss for the race. Stand-out race favourite Primoz Roglic has just lost a major rival, while Movistar's hopes will now rest on the frustratingly inconsistent Nairo Quintana and 39-year-old Alejandro Valverde.
"The cynical will suggest that Carapaz's absence has more than a little to do with his impending move to Ineos, but starting a Grand Tour with such a level of pre-existing injury is a legitimate reason for his withdrawal from the start list."
-- Tom Bennett