Tony Martin withdraws from Tour de France due to injury and to prepare for Olympic Games
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tony Martin withdraws from Tour de France due to injury and to prepare for Olympic Games

by Shane Stokes at 4:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Olympics, Injury
 
World time trial champion decides its time to step aside and to recover from early crash

Tony MartinHaving battled through the first week of the Tour de France with a fractured scaphoid bone in his hand plus other smaller injuries, world time trial champion Tony Martin has decided to go no further in this Tour de France.

The Omega Pharma Quick Step rider remained in the race after a heavy fall on stage one, wearing a brace to support his wrist and hand and take pressure off the fractured bone. The limitations on his movement created other aches and made pedalling difficult, but he pressed on in order to dispute yesterday’s time trial.

He was hoping for a strong result and also to get a good workout in prior to the Olympic time trial on August 1st, which he is hoping to win. Martin set a fast early time but was delayed somewhat by a puncture. He had to be satisfied with a final placing of twelfth, two minutes and sixteen seconds off the winning mark set by Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling).

That proved to be his last stage in this year’s Tour, with the rider, team management and medical staff all agreeing that it is best that he stops now.

“It's difficult for me to step out of the Tour and leave my teammates here to keep on fighting,” said Martin, who will meet the press on today’s rest day prior to heading home to Germany. “But it's the right thing to do now, and I know that even the guys will understand. I will go home and I will try to recover as much as I can. I don't want things to get even worse going into the mountains. I cannot imagine sitting in the back of the peloton suffering every day a little bit more as I did during this week. I really tried, I put a lot of energy together with the team to arrive until today, but now it's time to think about my complete recovery.”

Team doctor Helge Riepenhof said that in order to avoid further complications, and in order to best prepare for the London Olympics, it's best that he leaves the race at this point.

“Tony's impressive performance in the last days, going through all the pain and still fighting to be able to compete in the individual TT, shows what kind of character he has,” he said. “But from the medical point of view, it is now time to give the scaphoid fracture a chance to heal. We also have to avoid further issues to his body because of being limited in his movement while wearing a brace. This is the only possible decision to be able to perform at the London Olympics without damaging structures such as the lower back or knees.”

Martin punctured in the prologue time trial while apparently being on course for a top three placing or better in the test. He also flatted yesterday, although it was clear that he wasn’t going to challenge for the win. However he’s hoping it's a different story in London.

“I have still three weeks before the Olympics. I know that it won't be easy, but I will do all my best to be in good shape for the Olympics,” he said, speaking of his desire to add the gold medal to his rainbow jersey. “I wish all the best to my teammates and I thank the whole team for the great and professional help they gave me in this difficult week.”
 

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