Tour de France winner Chris Froome has become the latest high-profile casualty in Spain's Vuelta after withdrawing before the start of Thursday's 12th stage due to a broken bone in his foot.
"Scans this morning confirm fractured navicular. End of the Vuelta for me," Froome posted on his official Twitter account.
Froome's hopes of becoming just the third man to win the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year were realistically ended on Wednesday as he injured his foot whilst crashing on the daunting mountainous 138km ride through Andorra and fell over seven minutes behind general classification leader Fabio Aru.
The 30-year-old was hoping to emulate Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978) by completing the Tour-Vuelta double and was very much in contention before Wednesday's stage, dubbed as one the hardest in the Vuelta's 80-year history with four category one and a special category climb.
Froome got off to the worst possible start, though, as a crash early in the day left him needing crutches to walk at the end of the stage.