Answering a query on Twitter regarding his non-selection for the Vuelta a España later in August, the 36-year-old British road race and time trial champion said that he had fractured the L1 and L2 vertebrae in his lower back.
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“Heat or steep climbs don’t concern me, it’s part of cycling. The problem is, I fractured L1 and L2 vertebrae in the tour. I had to rest.” said Cummings in reply to Twitter user Mark Gray who had suggested that Cummings “doesn’t need 30 per cent climbs and blistering heat”.
Cummings suffered a heavy fall on stage 17 of the Tour, when he was forced off the road, into a ditch and flipped head-over-heels into a field. He remounted and carried on, evidently unaware of the extent of his injury.
German sprinter Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) abandoned the race after the same crash while in the green jersey.
Cummings told Cycling Weekly after the race that he had struggled with a sore back after the crash, and that it had worsened in the penultimate stage’s time trial.
“I think my form is quite good, the last few days I have suffered a lot with my back after the crash,” he said after the time trial stage. “I was really sore and it was exaggerated with the time trial. I raced good in the Pyrenees, I was close [to winning a stage].”
Cummings’s injury and the fact that he finished the Tour with vertebral fractures matches that of Irishman Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors), who also found out after the race that he had fractured two vertebrae in his lower back after a crash on stage nine.
Cummings was scheduled to defend his Tour of Britain title in September, but may now have to assess the progress of his recovery.