Quick-Step Floors‘ Dan Martin finished the Tour de France in sixth place overall only to find that he raced a full 12 stages with two fractured vertebrae. Martin sustained the injuries on the descent of the Mont du Chat on stage 9 when Richie Porte (BMC Racing) overshot a turn then crashed in front of him.
The Irishman will miss the Clasica San Sebastian after examinations discovered fractures to his transverse processes in his L2 and L3 vertebrae in his lower back. He will be out of action for three weeks.
“During the Tour I didn’t have any problems when racing, but off the bike I wasn’t feeling very comfortable, so this week I did a scan and got the news,” Martin said in a team press release.
“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.”
Quick-Step Floors will be led in the one-day race in Spain’s Basque Country by Philippe Gilbert, who recovered from a bout of gastroenteritis that sent him packing from the Tour de France in the final week.
“It’s my first race since the Tour de France, so it’s hard to say where I am, especially as I had to pull out of the Tour due to illness,” Gilbert said. “San Sebastian is always an important race, and of course I would like to do good, but it is difficult to say where I stand. I think my body is feeling better and I’m looking forward to racing again and to test the waters, but I’ll be able to say more after the race.”
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