The Vuelta a Espana has been the best grand tour yet of Darwin Atapuma's career as the BMC rider enjoyed a four day stint in the leader's race jersey. Stage 12 of the race looked like being another good day in the saddle for the 28-year-old as he made his way into the breakaway but ended with the Colombian making a visit to the hospital.
A crash inside the final 100km of the stage saw Atapuma land heavily on his side with his elbow taking the brunt of the fall. Atapuma was forced to wait roadside as he required a bike change which saw take his place him back in the peloton. Atapuma and teammate Tejay van Garderen crossed the line together in Bilbao, 1:56 minutes down on stage winner Jens Keukeleire (Orica-BikeExchange) before heading to the hospital for scans.
"Darwin was taken to the Hospital Universitario Basurto after his crash on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana. He had X-Rays taken of his right elbow which was the point of impact and the point of pain from the crash," BMC team doctor Daniele Zaccaria said.
While Atapuma suffered road rash, no serious injuries were detected at the hospital and he will take to the start line in Bilbao for the 213.4km stage 13 to Urdax-Dantxarinea.
"Fortunately the X-Rays showed no fracture. Darwin lost a lot of skin and it will be painful for a while, but we have no doubts that he'll be back racing on stage 13 tomorrow. We will continue to monitor his injury for the remainder of the race," Zaccaria added.