‘It’s the weirdest feeling because I don’t have a scratch on me’: Dan Martin forced to retire from Critérium du Dauphiné after crash 

The Irishman said he hopes he can recover in time for the Tour de France 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dan Martin is hoping to recover in time for the Tour de France after he was forced to abandon the Critérium du Dauphiné after a crash.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider was caught in a fall on stage two as the peloton surged towards the Col de la Porte, as Martin immediately realised he was hurt in the fall despite suffering no visible damage.

After riding to the finish, Martin went for medical checks and discovered a fracture in his lower back.

The 33-year-old said: “I was preparing myself for the last climb, for the last effort, and the guys crashed in front of me. I tried to stop in time. One of the guys hit a sign in the road. Immediately I knew I’d hurt myself. 

“It’s the weirdest feeling because I don’t have a scratch on me. I just landed full force on the bottom of my bike and unfortunately I have a small fracture down there, a small fracture in my sacrum.”

The crash happened on the valley roads before the final climb when EF Pro Cycling rider Sergio Higuita hit some road furniture and went down.

Martin was unable to avoid the collision and fell hard on his lower back.

Both riders were able to finish the stage, which was hit by a huge hailstorm which sent riders searching for cover.

Martin suffered a non-dislocated sacral fracture and did not start stage three.

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He will return home to recover, saying: “I rode to the finish. I could pedal no problem. It was painful and I could tell there was something not quite right. So we went to get checked and we’ve decided not to start day three of the Dauphine. It’s better to go home and recover.

“There’s no reason to be here if I’m not 100 per cent fit.

“Hopefully it heals in time for the Tour.” 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.