Tony Martin has eight stitches in facial wound after Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne crash

Katusha-Alpecin rider still hoping to ride Paris-Nice

Tony Martin needed eight stitches in a cut above his right eye after crashing hard at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne but the German is hoping to ride Paris-Nice which begins next Sunday and includes a 14.5km time trial on stage 4.

Martin crashed and hit his head after an apparent touch of wheels while fighting for position in an important echelon with 55km left to race on Sunday. The riders rippled across the road and Martin, who was in the gutter, felt the brunt of it, going down hard close to a parked car.

He bravely got up and raced on for a few kilometres with blood pouring down his face. However he pulled out after advice from race doctors. A check up at hospital confirmed he had not suffered concussion or any fractures.

The German then headed back to the Katusha bus and posted a photo of his injuries on social media, confirming he still hopes to ride Paris-Nice.

Martin joined Katusha-Alpecin this year after five seasons with Patrick Lefevere’s Quick-Step team. As world time trial champion he will again target time trials and especially the opening stage of the Tour de France in Germany. However he also wants to test his ability in the spring Classics and is expected to ride the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and other races.

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