Tony Martin to abandon after time trial?

Time trial world champion Tony Martin could very well abandon the Tour de France after today's 41.5km time trial between Arc-en-Senans and Besançon. The German is suffering from a fractured scaphoid since he crashed on stage one, and his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team doctor has advised him that leaving the Tour early would be better in view of his preparation for the London Olympics.

"Tony wants to ride the time trial, but after that it would be best if he quits the Tour," team doctor Helge Riepenhof told Het Nieuwsblad. "I can see he's suffering by continuing to race with the fracture. After one week, his back and knees are starting to be affected, too. In order not to risk anything in view of the Olympic Games, he'd better stop and start over at home in Switzerland."

Last week, Riepenhof had already told Cyclingnews that Martin saw stage nine's race against the clock as a test of his time trial position, looking towards the Olympics. "We'll take it day by day and see if he can get through to the Besancon time trial, literally just to see how he feels on a time trial bike in competition. It's something we want to try before the Olympics."

Even before the start of the Tour, the German had said that his goal was not the general classification, but a stage victory. "The important thing for me is a stage win. If the yellow jersey comes with it, then is that all the better," he said.

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