MACON, France, July 10, 2012 (AFP) – World time trial champion Tony Martin
of Germany has pulled out of the Tour de France during the race’s first rest
day on Tuesday, his Omega Pharma 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 at home this afternoon.”
The 27-year-old Martin, one of the Omega-Pharma team’s key riders for the
three-week epic, crashed on stage one 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 stage in Monday’s ninth stage, a 41.5km 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.”