Tour de France 2020

Martin abandons Tour to recover for Olympics

World champ steps aside to avoid further injury in build-up to the Olympics

MACON, France (AFP) — World time trial champion Tony Martin has pulled out of the Tour de France during the race’s first rest day on Tuesday, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team confirmed.

“Tony Martin will not take the start of the 10th stage of Tour de France tomorrow (Wednesday),” his team said in a statement. “In agreement with the team sport management and the team medical staff, Martin will return home this afternoon.”

The 27-year-old Martin, one of Omega Pharma key riders for the Tour, crashed on stage 1 and decided to continue in the race despite being diagnosed with a left wrist fracture.

“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,” team doctor Helge Riepenhof 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 finished ninth in Monday’s 41.5km stage 9 time trial, and was 67th in the overall standings.

“It’s difficult for me to step out of the Tour and leave my teammates here to keep on fighting,” said Martin. “But it’s the right thing to do now, and I know that even the guys will understand. 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.”