Dan Martin’s Giro d’Italia ended just after he began the team time trial in Belfast. The Irishman crashed over halfway into the 21.7-kilometre time trial with three other Garmin team-mates and sat still on the side on the wet road nursing his right collarbone.
Garmin was able to continue with five riders and finish the time trial with 28-08 minutes. Martin remained behind and with a suspected broken collarbone.
Martin began the Giro with hopes to win the overall. “It’s all about this race,” Martin said two days ago. “I’m thinking for the Giro only. I’ll try for a stage and the GC, I’ll try my best possible.”
Martin recently crashed in the final left-hand corner of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He sat second behind Daniel Moreno and looked on his way to repeat his 2013 win.
The 27-year-old appeared to crash first and caused a chain reaction. Koldo Fernández, Andre Cardoso and Nathan Haas crashed, Cardoso appearing to suffer the most damage.
The team, led by Tyler Farrar and 2012 Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal, had to brake and wait for a fifth rider to rejoin. The organiser takes the time on the fifth rider who crosses the line. Fabian Wegmann lost ground before the crash but was able to catch his team-mates.
“I didn’t see what happened,” Hesjedal said. “There were four of us and we had to wait for another rider. I haven’t had time to think about what this is going to mean for Garmin’s GC race.”
Garmin sports director Charly Wegelius said: “Today was a tough day and means a change in strategy for the team. We came in with two leaders, Dan and Ryder, and a strong team built to support them and give us options through out the race.
“It’s heartbreak for Dan in particular, we all know how much this meant to him, but that gives us motivation. We’ll keep fighting forward. These guys are not just teammates, they are good friends and we’ll all use this as motivation for the next three weeks to shake up the race and create opportunities for ourselves.”