Tour de France: Nairo Quintana escapes serious injury in stage 18 crash

Colombian suffers scrapes and bruises in mid-race pile-up

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has escaped any serious injury following a crash during stage 18 of the Tour de France.

The Colombian came down hard along with several other riders in the opening half of the stage, suffering some scrapes and cuts. He received medical attention from the doctor's car, but he was soon able to make it back to the bunch with help from his teammates. It was a scare that Quintana didn't need, particularly given he is having problems with the thumb on his right hand.

"I am fine, I'm calm," he told reporters at the line in Pau. "It is annoying to have this crash. I have some pain in my ankle, shoulder and a finger that was already hurting me during yesterday's stage.

"The race doctors put some bandages on my abrasions, but before I didn't get them cleaned, so I need to have a shower and visit our team doctors. I just hope to recover well, do some good work to heal this thumb with the team physios and try and do the best possible race tomorrow."

The crash is the latest tale in what has been an up-and-down, but mostly down, Tour de France for Quintana. He began turning things around on Wednesday with a long-range attack that saw him claim victory on the Col du Portet and moved him up to fifth overall. Quintana did not lose any time as a result of the crash, but it is a minor setback for him as he attempts to improve on his overall position.

Team manager Eusebio Unzue was on hand to check up on Quintana at the finish line. Unzue explained that the issue with Quintana's thumb made switching gears a little harder, but they remained positive ahead of two final GC days.

"Nairo has some blows and bruises over the left side of his body and, more importantly, a harder impact on his right thumb, which didn't allow him to change gears comfortably. We're waiting on an early check-up from our team doctors but we don't think it should be a great problem," Unzue said.

"It was a tough stage, with high temperatures, 45-46kph average speed and lots of fatigue from the past three weeks. If you combine that with a crash like Nairo's, it gets difficult. Let's hope it's just those blows and bruises, so he can recover well and be up there and fighting again tomorrow."

The team later confirmed that Quintana had no fractures, only scrapes and bruises.

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