Madrid - Ecuador's Richard Carapaz, winner of this year's Giro d'Italia, has pulled out of the Vuelta a Espana due to injury.
Carapaz, who was one of the leading contenders to win the third Grand Tour of the year in Spain, suffered a shoulder injury in a crash last weekend.
"Richard Carapaz will not start the 74th Vuelta a Espana on Saturday," Carapaz's team Movistar said in a statement on Thursday.
"The Ecuadorian rider suffers from a significant contusion in his right shoulder, as well as several bruises, after a crash sustained in the Profronde van Etten-Leur criterium in the Netherlands, last Sunday.
"In spite of treatment received all week, and the lack of fractures, the injury needs more time to allow it to heal completely, which rules out his appearance in the race."
Carapaz was due be one of three Movistar leaders at the Vuelta, along with 2009 winner Alejandro Valverde and the Colombian Nairo Quintana, champion in 2016.
Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas, who was initially a reserve, will come in.
Carapaz will reportedly leave Movistar at the end of the year for British outfit Team Ineos.