FOUGRES, France (AFP) — Tony Martin has undergone successful surgery on the collarbone he broke in a crash at the Tour de France.
The 30-year-old German was taken to a hospital in Hamburg early Friday and operated on to repair the damage done in his crash on Thursday.
“I would like to thank all the people involved in my transportation to the hospital and the medical staff in Hamburg. They were all amazing and they allowed me to undergo surgery in such a short time after the crash,” Martin said in a statement issued by his Etixx-Quick-Step team.
“In these situations time is an important factor and we couldn’t have done better.”
Martin had a dramatic six days in the Tour before being forced out while wearing the leader’s yellow jersey.
He was second on the stage 1 time trial on Saturday, missing out on yellow by just five seconds to Australia’s Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
Over the next two days, Martin was denied yellow by a matter of seconds after Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Chris Froome (Sky) earned decisive time bonuses on the line.
Martin, a three-time world time trial champion, finally got his hands on the jersey on Tuesday after making a daring solo break to win stage 4 despite suffering a puncture shortly before the end.
But on Thursday, he crashed in the final kilometer and although his teammates helped him over the line, his race was over.
“I will follow the race on TV today from the hospital. It will be strange but that’s life and cycling,” Martin said.
“I have to try to see the glass half full and keep the good memories. I had a great first part of the Tour with a great team around me.
“I won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in my career. A dream came true during this Tour and now I’m already looking forward to coming back one day again and living the great emotions of this race.”