Chris Froome ruled out of Vuelta with fractured bone in foot
Two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is out of the Vuelta a Espana with a fractured bone in his foot.
The Team Sky leader, who has twice finished runner-up in the Tour of Spain, will not start Thursday's 12th stage.
"Scans this morning confirm fractured navicular. End of the Vuelta for me," Froome wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.
The 30-year-old, who won his second Tour de France title in July, sustained the injury in a crash early on Wednesday's 11th stage.
He was 15th overall, seven minutes 30 seconds behind race leader Fabio Aru (Astana), after conceding more than eight minutes to the Italian on Wednesday.
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Froome wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night that he was anticipating a withdrawal, saying "further scans in the morning but start unlikely as I can't walk without crutches". And he confirmed his abandonment less than 10 hours later.
The Kenya-born Briton was hoping to become the third rider in history to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year and first since the latter event was moved towards the end of the season. It used to take place in April.
Froome is no stranger to withdrawing from Grand Tours, having been forced to quit the 2014 Tour de France, which began in Yorkshire, with a fractured hand and a fractured wrist.
He responded by reclaiming the yellow jersey of Tour de France champion and was targeting a first red jersey as Tour of Spain winner, having finished runner-up in 2012 and 2014.
Froome's withdrawal could have repercussions for Great Britain's hopes in the Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia at the end of this month.