Tony Martin out of Tour de France with spinal fracture

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has been forced to abandon the Tour de France after being involved in a mass-crash during stage 9.

His team announced on Twitter that Martin - who finished the stage in last place, 11:05 down - had suffered a fractured cervical vertebrae.

"Unfortunately [Tony Martin] won‘t start tomorrow in stage 9. A spinal fracture (vertebral compression fracture) makes it impossible to continue [the Tour de France]."

Martin crashed along with Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), who said he was "ripped to pieces" in the wreck, some 17km from the finish in Amiens. Both Tony Martin and Dan Martin visited the mobile x-ray truck provided by race organiser ASO. Dan Martin avoided any fractures but Tony Martin looked saddened and in a daze as he realised his Tour de France was over due to his fracture.

A Velon on-board video captured the moment as mountains leader Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Martin unsuccessfully try to avoid the slowing riders in front of them after a touch of wheels in the peloton. Tony Martin flew over his bars after slamming on the brakes, landing heavily on his upper back and neck.

A number of other riders also fell in the incident. Simon Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac) was also diagnosed with a neck injury, while Omar Fraile (Astana) bruising his right shoulder.

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