EF Education First confirmed today that Daniel Martínez will miss the year's Tour de France as he recovers from injuries suffered in a training crash Monday in Colombia. The team reported that Martínez was riding downhill during the recovery time between training intervals when his wheels slid out on an oil slick, causing him to crash and land on his hands.
"Dani’s crash unfortunately resulted in broken bones in both hands," said EF Education First head of medical Kevin Sprouse. "He underwent surgery to repair the fractures. The surgery and subsequent healing will require that he miss the Tour de France this year."
The 23-year-old Colombian joined the American WorldTour team last year and quickly impressed, taking fifth at the Colombia Oro y Paz – the Tour Colombia 2.1's former name – and then seventh at the Volta a Catalunya. Martinez followed those results with12th at the Tour de Romandie and third overall at the Tour of California, leading to his first chance at the Tour. He told Cyclingnews this year at the Tour of Colombia that a top result at the French Grand Tour was his dream.
Martínez appeared to be on target to put in a good ride this July, starting the season with a win in the Colombia national time trial championship and then third overall at the Tour Colombia. He won a stage at Paris-Nice and then rode solidly at Pais Vasco, coming in second on the opening time trial and finishing 20th overall. He raced Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Romandie, then returned to Colombia for a break from travel and for altitude training. Monday's crash scrapped his plans for July
"I have about two months of recovery in front of me," Martínez said. "My hands hurt a lot, and I cannot do anything without help. I’m very sad to miss the Tour de France. I’ve trained a lot for that. But this is just the way cycling is."
Martínez had been training with countryman and teammate Rigoberto Uran, who only recently returned from the Tour of California. The pair would have formed a powerful mountain punch for the argyle team at the Tour.
"Certainly, we’ll miss Dani at the Tour as he was a key part of our plans, but the Tour is full of surprises, and we just got one a little early," said EF Education First team CEO Jonathan Vaughters.
Martínez's recovery will be closely monitored by the team's medical staff, and his return to racing will be determined in line with his recovery, the team said.
"There are other races I will need to think about now that I cannot race the Tour,” Martínez said. “I want to recover well for the new goals."