Successful surgery for Tony Martin
Having become the 15th yellow jersey to abandon in 102 editions of the Tour de France after crashing in the finale of stage 6, Tony Martin has undergone successful surgery for his fractured left-collarbone. Having been helped across the line by his Etixx-Quick Step teammates, Martin vowed to continue the race but post-stage x-ray's confirmed the German's injury was worst case scenario.
"Unfortunately, the collarbone is a lateral fracture," team doctor Helge Riepenhof said after the x-ray. "The collarbone is in lots of pieces, so it was a major impact. One of the pieces came through the skin, which means it's an open fracture. Therefore, even if it was Tony's wish to start tomorrow, I have to say he is not allowed to."
Martin immediately left the race to head home to Germany, undergoing surgery early this morning.
"I would like to thank all the people involved in my transportation to the hospital and the medical staff in Hamburg” Martin says. “They were all amazing and they allowed me to undergo surgery in such a short time after the crash. In these situations time is an important factor and we couldn’t have done better. I wish good luck to my team and to all the riders busy at the Tour," Martin in a release from his team.
"I will follow the race on TV today from the hospital. It will be strange but that’s life and cycling. I have to try to see the glass half full and keep the good memories. I had a great first part of the Tour with a great team around me. I won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in my career. A dream came true during this Tour and now I’m already looking forward to coming back one day again and living the great emotions of this race."
Lotto-Soudal lose Greg Henderson to rib injury
After crashing on stage 3, Greg Henderson has succumbed to the pain of his rib injury with Lotto-Soudal announcing the Kiwi wont be starting stage 7 of the Tour de France. The Kiwi explained his disappointment to be forced out of race for the second straight year.
Already after my crash on Monday I was in a lot of pain. But I didn't want to blame myself I hadn't tried and I took the start on Tuesday. I hoped I would have less pain after a few days, but the Tour still lasts more than two weeks and I can't continue this way," Henderson said. "Even sitting at the side of my bed hurts. You don't want to abandon the Tour. You come here to reach goals together and finish in Paris three weeks later. And that won't happen for me. The guys already did a brilliant job, I hope they can continue on this way and make Lotto Soudal even more successful."
Lotto-Soudal team doctor Jan Mathieu explained that with two weeks of racing to come at the Tour and only limited opportunities for the sprinters, there withdrawing was the right decision.
"It's not easy to race with an injury like Greg has. As rider and team doctor you hope there is some kind of stabilization, that makes it possible to continue the race, but unfortunately that's not the case. Last night the pain got worse and that's why we decided to call it quits. The Tour is still long, it's pointless to continue," Mathieu said.
Coquard shows his sprinting talents
Bryan Coquard (Europcar) showed his sprinting talent on stage six to Le Havre, finishing third behind Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) - his best ever result in the Tour de France.
Coquard responded to criticism that he is not aggressive enough in sprints by fighting for Sagan's wheel on the short climb to the finish. He refused to lead the chase after Stybar when Sagan swung over but had the speed to finish ahead of John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).
"I've been told of some criticism on the radio that I'm not aggressive but it doesn't bother me. I'm still young, I'm only 23 and this is my best Tour de France result," Coquard told L'Equipe.
"Being beaten by Sagan is not a disappointment. It's a satisfaction. I'm working to be up there with the best sprinters in the world and I think I'm getting there. I only weigh 60kg and so it's difficult for me to be up there on flat sprints like Amiens but if there's a climb I can get over and I'm really suited to uphill sprints. I want to be a guy who can win the Amstel Gold Race and Milan-San Remo."
Julien Pinot hits out at Gasquet and tennis over injections
Julien Pinot garnered bigger headlines than his brother Thibaut at the Tour de France on Thursday after taking a shot at French tennis player Richard Gasquet via Titter.
Gasquet faces Novak Djokovic in the men's semi-final at Wimbledon today and had revealed that a corticoid injection has allowed him to progress through the tennis Grand Slam, saying "Heureusement que les infiltrations existent –Fortunately injections are allowed."
That angered Pinot, who also coaches his brother, and he took to Twitter on Tuesday night to reveal that the FDJ team underwent post-race anti-doping tests at 11pm, in the final moments of the testing window.
"It was a bit of provocation. I wanted people to understand that there are controls all the time in cycling and that we're serious about the fight against doping," he told L'Equipe.
"Nobody seems to mind that Gasquet had an injection. But if he was a cyclist…. Some sports don't fight against doping!"
Cyclingnews stage 6 podcast
The seventh episode of the Cyclingnews podcast features European editor Barry Ryan and news editor Sadhhbh O'Shea discussing the dramatic finish to stage 6 with an audio clip from stage winner Zdenek Stybar. In a shorter edition of the pod, Barry and Sadhhbh look ahead to stage 7 the ramifications of Martin crashing out of the race which you can listen to by clicking here.