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Tour de France

Dan Martin out of Dauphiné, Tour start in question

Suffering a non-dislocated sacral fracture, the Israel Start-Up Nation rider withdrew from the race to recover for the start of the Tour.

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Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) crashed a second time in as many days in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“I’m optimistic I can still race the Tour de France,” said Martin. “I don’t have a scratch on me really, but I landed full force on the bottom of my back. Unfortunately, [I] have a small fracture down there, in my sacrum.”

Suffering a non-dislocated sacral fracture (S3), he withdrew from the five-day stage race, hoping to recover in time to start the 2020 Tour de France on August 29.

“It’s a shame as I felt I was in great shape but I’m a fast healer and I have reason to remain optimistic,” added the two-time Tour stage winner.

Martin’s loss for the Tour de France would be a major blow for the ambitious Israel Start-Up Nation team, who have signed Chris Froome for next season.

“Dan Martin who suffers from significant pain, left the Dauphiné and went home for a period of rest during which to heal his fracture”, read a team Israel Start-Up Nation release.

AFP contributed to this report.