American rider Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) was forced out of the Vuelta a Espana on stage 8 with broken right shoulder.
The GC contender was riding in the bunch when he was taken down in a fall with just under 50 kilometers of the stage remaining. Van Garderen started this year’s Vuelta after abandoning the Tour de France in July due to illness.
The crash at the Vuelta saw a number of riders fall and subsequent abandons from van Garderen, Daniel Martin (Cannondale Garmin), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal).
Van Garderen was seen holding his shoulder with early indications that he could have broken his collarbone. He was transported to hospital where a full examination was given.
"We were all around Tejay because we were close to the climb and the final circuit," said his teammate Velits. "We were trying to move up and suddenly it happened right in front of us. We did not have a chance to avoid it. That is cycling, but it is never nice to see crashes like this."
"It is a pity. Our team has lost a fundamental man," said BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois in a team statement. "This Vuelta was an opportunity to do well for him and for the BMC Racing Team. I am sure he will come back stronger physically, and above all, mentally."
Van Garderen had been sitting just outside of the top ten coming into stage 8. BMC Racing have yet to indicate whether their American GC rider will race again this season or draw a line and focus on 2016.