News24

Hurt Martin to start Stage 2

2012-07-02 11:28

Vise - World time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany will fight to stay in the Tour de France despite suffering a left wrist fracture.

Martin, one of the Omega-Pharma team's key riders for the three-week epic, crashed on stage one Sunday and was later diagnosed with a fracure of the scaphoid bone.

Although such an injury can takes weeks to recover from, Martin is determined it will not end his race so prematurely.

"We'll see how things go, kilometre by kilometre," said Martin.

"The first thing we have to take aim at is to get to the first time trial on Monday."

Martin is not a yellow jersey contender but is a big favourite for both of the long time trials on the race, having won the final time trial last year before claiming the world title in Copenhagen.

Monday's ninth stage is a 43km race against the clock while the 19th stage, the penultimate of the race, is a 53km effort.

"I know it won't be easy, I expect to suffer," added Martin.

"But the Tour de France is very important for me and I don't want to throw in the towel without giving it my best shot."

Martin, 27, crashed early in the 198km stage from Liege to Seraing alongside South African Robert Hunter, but still managed to finish among a peloton that finished a few seconds behind winner Slovakian Peter Sagan, Swiss Fabian Cancellara and Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The German also suffered a mishap on the opening prologue, for which he was a big favourite, on Saturday when he lost precious seconds due to a flat tyre which required a change of bike.

He also suffered injury after being hit by a car while out training in April, an incident which delayed his training for the season.

AFP