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Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a España: Julian Alaphilippe crashes out

Race leader Remco Evenepoel loses a key helper after world champion transported away in an ambulance.

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CABO DE GATA, Spain (VN) — Vuelta a España race leader Remco Evenepoel lost a key helper after Julian Alaphilippe crashed out in Wednesday’s 11th stage.

The reigning world champion went down with about 65km in the 191.2km stage from El Pozo Alimentación to Cabo de Gata.

It was not immediately clear how Alaphilippe crashed, but he was clutching his right shoulder as he roiled in pain on the tarmac. A replay showed that another Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider fell just in front of Alaphilippe, who had nowhere to go but over the top.

Fortunately for the team, Evenepoel was in front of Alaphilippe and the race leader was not caught up in the crash.

Doctors later placed Alaphilippe’s arm into a brace, and he was loaded into an ambulance.

With Alaphilippe’s departure, Evenepoel will have only five helpers to defend the red jersey with about half the Vuelta still to race. Pieter Serry did not start stage 9 with COVD-19.