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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019

Dan Martin reveals that he rode most of the Tour de France with a fractured back

Martin recorded Ireland’s best finish at the race since his uncle Stephen Roche won in 1987.

Martin: GC hopes dented by a bad crash on stage nine.
Martin: GC hopes dented by a bad crash on stage nine.
Image: Christophe Ena

DAN MARTIN RODE most of the Tour de France with a fractured back, it emerged last night, as the Irish cyclist was ruled out of the San Sebastian Classic.

Martin’s sixth-place finish was his best ever Grand Tour result, and the best result of any Irish rider at the Tour since his uncle Stephen Roche won the race in 1987.

And his performance became even more impressive after scans showed that he suffered two small fractures to his L2 and L3 vertebrae when he crashed on stage nine.

The injury is not particularly serious but will keep the 30-year-old out of action for the next three weeks, starting with Saturday’s race in San Sebastian.

“Diagnosis of 2 small fracture took me by surprise,” Martin tweeted. “Shows how powerful the mind is in pushing through. No wonder I couldn’t stand up straight.”

“During the Tour I didn’t have any problems when racing,” he said in a more detailed update released by his Quick-Step Floors team.

“But off the bike I wasn’t feeling very comfortable, so this week I did a scan and got the news.

“It’s a real pity I won’t ride San Sebastian, because the legs were there and it’s a race I like, but fortunately this injury isn’t something to worry about.

“In order to tackle my future goals in good condition, it’s better to take a break and give the fracture time to heal. There’s nothing else I can do, just rest and then build up for the final part of the season.”

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Niall Kelly

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