British Dimension Data rider Steve Cummings says that he fractured his L1 and L2 vertebrae during this year's Tour de France
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.
“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.