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Tony Martin: It would be fatal if I crashed on my back again and did worse damage

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Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin and Tony Martin

Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin and Tony Martin (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A cap for Tony Martin

A cap for Tony Martin (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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German champion Tony Martin (Katusha Alpecin)

German champion Tony Martin (Katusha Alpecin) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Almost a month after he was forced to abandon the Tour de France with a fractured vertebra, Tony Martin is able to train on the road again. However, he will have to wait a little bit longer before he can race again, with doctors advising him that another crash on his back could be ‘fatal’ at this point in time.

Martin was caught up in a crash during the final 20 kilometres of stage 8 of the Tour, flying over the handlebars and landing on his head. He finished the stage but later scans showed that he had fractured a cervical vertebra. The injury was such that Martin had to take four weeks complete rest ‘to avoid shaking the bone’.

Katusha-Alpecin posted photos of Martin doing work with the team osteopath in the last week and he has begun training again, while doctors have now given him the green light to go out on the road again.

“I am back on the bike and the doctors gave me the green light to train on the road again,” Martin wrote on his official website. “The healing process is going well. And I have let myself be tortured by our team osteopath in Munich for the last four days. I also have some exercises to do at home, to continue working on my stability. I am feeling good about my comeback.”

Martin will have to exercise some patience as he looks to make his competitive return. He had previously hoped to ride the first edition of the revived Deutschland Tour at the end of August, but he has been told that it is too soon for him. Martin has had to accept that it is too risky for him to make his comeback at present. It’s not yet clear when he will be able to race again.

“My comeback will unfortunately be delayed. The doctors have advised me against a start at the Deutschland Tour. It really hurts me that I can’t be there. But I didn’t argue about and accepted their advice,” he said. “It would be fatal if I crashed on my back again and did even worse damage. We professional athletes are aware that we have to accept a lot of risks. That’s just the way it is. But we must not overdo it. I am responsible not only for myself and my body, but also for my family. I would have liked to have seen you all at the Deutschland Tour. But we will do that one day”

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