A bad crash in the end of stage seven of the Vuelta a España saw Ireland’s Dan Martin complete the day’s racing but the Garmin-Sharp rider was then taken to hospital for further checkups as a result of his injuries.
Without going into detail, Garmin-Sharp sports director Johnny Weltz said Martin had suffered injuries on his right side and that they had taken him to a hospital after the stage. He could not confirm if Martin would start the stage tomorrow. An official race medical report by the Vuelta’s own doctors said Martin had suffered “multiple blows to an arm and hip” and that team-mate Nick Nuyens had also crashed.
Martin went down with around ten kilometres to go and finished 1:33 back in 116th place. The 2013 Tour de France stage winner crashed shortly after teammate Tyler Farrar had punctured and was being pulled back up to the peloton, with Garmin-Sharp suddenly having to fight to get both sprinter and their GC rider back in the bunch.
Johan Vansummeren and other teammates tried to bring Martin back into the peloton, but with the bunch already going flat out on a very technical, fast finish and Martin not in a good condition in any case, it was mission impossible.
“It was a perfect storm, I have to say that,” Johnny Weltz told Cyclingnews afterwards. “He hit some kind of a hole in the ground and went into his handlebars and went down.”
“Tyler had just punctured before this shit started going down so we already had to stop to give him a wheel. Then Dan came down, it was just the most chaos it could have possibly been.”
Weltz, like Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was critical of the stage finish, saying “the final was absolutely crazy. You know you have to be on the front but on a circuit like that....”
To add insult to injury, Martin, Farrar, Vansummeren, Alex Howes and Nick Nuyens were all handed 20-second time penalties and fined 50 Swiss Francs by the commissaires for drafting behind a team car. Johnny Weltz and fellow directeur sportif Bingen Fernandez were fined 200 CHF for the same incident.
Furthermore, Farrar was fined another 50 CHF for “irregular team support” following his puncture, with Fernandez fined 200 CHF for the same offence. Ferandez was landed with a third 200 CHF fine for irregular feeding, while Caleb Fairly was fined 50 CHF as the recipient of the illegal feed.
In total, therefore, Garmin-Sharp amassed 1,150 CHF in fines on stage 7 of the Vuelta.