Even on the top of the Cima Coppi on stage 18, Kruijswijk had the race under firm control, even distancing third placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the ascent. But one small mistake over the top, and his hopes came crashing down on the descent of the Colle dell'Agnelo on stage 19: Kruijswijk misjudged a turn and crashed into a wall of ice and snow, then tumbled head over heels onto the tarmac.
After the stage in which he lost the maglia rosa to Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Kruijswijk was in deep pain, physically and emotionally. He underwent scans in Briançon, and the LottoNl-Jumbo team confirmed late Friday that Kruijswijk had sustained a fractured rib, and is suffering from pain in his foot and side.
The team will give a new update on Saturday morning on whether Kruijswijk, who is currently third overall behind Chaves and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 1:05 off the race leader, will continue the race.
Stage 20 from Guillestra to Sant'Anna di Vinadio is only 134km long, but will be an intense day of racing with three category 1 climbs and an uphill category 3 finishing climb.