UPDATE: World time trial champion to undergo surgery next week for jaw and cheekbone fractures
Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Tony Martin will be out of action for some time after his team confirmed that he was injured in a training collision with a car near his home in Switzerland yesterday. Martin lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the University Clinic in Zürich. Thursday afternoon his manager Jörg Werner told the dpa news agency that Martin had suffered a fractured jaw and cheekbone.
He is expected to undergo surgery early next week. "But first the swelling has to go down," Werner said. Martin hoped to go home over the weekend before returning to the Clinic on Monday.
The world time trial champion said that he could not remember the accident. "He didn't sound troubled, but rather, optimistic," Werner said.
The incident comes at the worst possible for Martin, who was in the process of building his form ahead of his big targets in late spring and throughout the summer. The 26-year-old German enjoyed a superb season in the colours of the now-disbanded HTC Highroad team in 2011, winning the world time trial championships, Paris-Nice, the Volta ao Algarve and the Tour of Beijing. He had endured an inconsistent start to 2012 with his new team, but his form at the Tour of the Basque Country earlier this month, where he finished fifth overall, hinted at a return to form.
Martin's next intended race was the Tour de Romandie, which is scheduled to begin on April 24, but it is not known when he will race again.