Tony Martin battles on in the Tour de France despite scaphoid fracture
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tony Martin battles on in the Tour de France despite scaphoid fracture

by Shane Stokes at 5:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mate Jerome Pineau also gets green light

Tony MartinA potentially disastrous day for Omega Pharma Quick Step has turned out to not be quite so serious, with both Tony Martin and Jerome Pineau able to continue today in the Tour de France. Both are injured, but will line out at the start today.

Martin had the second successive day of bad luck yesterday. He punctured in Saturday’s time trial while being in a strong position to challenge for the victory, then on stage one he crashed heavily eleven kilometres into the stage. Medical tests carried out after the stage showed that he had fractured the scaphoid bone in his hand, an injury which normally results in riders having to stop.

Martin is determined to fight on. "We will take it step by step, kilometre by kilometre,” he stated today. “The first objective is to try and arrive to the next time trial on next Monday. I know it won't be easy, it will be painful, but I really want to try. The Tour de France is really important for me and I don't want to give up without trying."

The decision to persist was taken in conjunction with the team doctor Helge Riepenhof plus the rest of the team’s medical staff. They also sought advice from Doctor Rudolf, who is the head of the hand surgery department in the BG trauma hospital in Hamburg.

In order to aid him in trying to cope with the damage, the world time trial champion will wear a plastic cast which will help to brace the affected area. “It won't bother him when handling his bike, which includes shifting, breaking and steering,” stated his team.

It’s still likely to be a battle, though, as the same injury forced Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini Selle Italia) out of the Giro d’Italia.

His team-mate Jerome Pineau will also try to carry on after he collided with a spectator 25 kilometres from yesterday’s finish. Ending the race with an arm he couldn’t move, he had an X-ray but this this showed that he had not fractured anything.

Team leader Levi Leipheimer lost 17 seconds in finishing 54th. He had been sitting too far back in the peloton and when splits opened on the climb, found himself chasing to try to overcome the gaps.


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