Tearful veteran Valverde crashes out of Vuelta

Madrid (AFP) –


Spain's Alejandro Valverde pulled out of what could be his last Vuelta a Espana after sustaining a shoulder injury when he misjudged a corner and fell during a mountainous stage seven on Friday.

This was 41-year-old Valverde's 15th Vuelta and it will be only the second time he has not completed the entire route of a race he won in 2009.

He was fourth in the overall standings, and had come second as recently as 2019.

The Movistar leader tried to continue after his fall but gave up, pulling to the side of the road and climbing off his bike, head bowed. He was in tears as he climbed into the team car.

Valverde won the world championships in 2018, has won 11 major one-day classics and 17 stages on Grand Tours, but he has yet to decide if he will continue his career into next season.

British rider Hugh Carthy of EF, third in the Vuelta last year, also pulled out on Friday.