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EL PUIG, SPAIN - AUGUST 27: Steven Kruijswijk of...

Kruijswijk abandons Vuelta with knee pain

Steven Kruijswijk abandoned the Vuelta a España after suffering knee pain on Tuesday.

Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk abandoned the Vuelta a España on Tuesday afternoon, his Jumbo-Visma team confirmed.

Kruijswijk climbed off his bicycle after approximately 50 kilometers of racing during the fourth stage of the Vuelta, a 175.5-kilometer sprint stage from Cullera to El Puig.

The Dutch rider had been suffering from a sore knee, an injury he received after crashing during the opening team time trial on August 24. Several riders on Jumbo-Visma crashed during the team time trial after the squad hit a wet patch of pavement during the 13.4-kilometer stage.

The team said online that Kruijswijk’s knee pain escalated after the crash.

The fallout from the crash could be seen on stage 2, when Kruijswijk was dropped on the final climb in Calpe. Kruijswijk finished in 54th place, 1:43 down on winner Nairo Quintana.

Kruijswijk was set to play an important domestique role in the team’s GC hunt with leader Primoz Roglic. Kruijswijk recently finished third overall at the Tour de France—his best finish ever at the French grand tour.

Kruijswijk’s abandonment leaves George Bennett as Roglic’s primary lieutenant for the climbing stages at the Vuelta.