Tour shorts: Martin keeps on, Team Alpecin, and fingernails

Martin, Pineau start despite crashes and injuries

Tony Martin was at the start of the second stage in Visé, Belgium, with a cast on his broken scaphoid. So far this Tour he is “hexed”, he said.

The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider explained on on his website how it happened: Robbie Hunter got wiped out by a pothole and Martin crashed right over him. He tried to stop his fall with his left hand, and that was it for the bone.

Martin kept going despite the pain and ended up finishing in the same time as winner Peter Sagan of Liquigas – proof that his form really is as good as he says. Nevertheless, chances are he might have to abandon the race, he admitted.

Teammate Jérôme Pineau, who collided with a photo-taking fan standing in the road 25 kilometres from the finish, also took to the start today. He too visited the hospital last night but he was lucky enough not to have broken anything. SW

Schlecks to Team Alpecin?

Will Andy and Fränk Schleck ride for Team Alpecin next year – a hair-care product which advertises “Doping for the Hair”, and whose spokesman is Jan Ullrich, retired but serving a doping suspension?

German news agency dpa is reporting that not only the Schlecks but also German riders Jens Voigt and Linus Gerdemann are in talks to join the new team which would be ready to start in 2013. Kim Andersen is said to be the sports boss of the team.

Alpecin is produced by the Dr. Wolff Gruppe, which declined to comment. SW

Fingernails for the Tour

Those who want to show their devotion to the sport and the Tour can now do so on their fingernails. Nailnerd shows you how! Start out with a base coat of yellow, of course, and then add decorations such as the Tour logo and the Tour Devil.

We wonder which rider will be first to sport this new art form in the race. SW

No Tour Devil this year?

Tour Devil Didi Senft is a standard part of the Tour scenery, but may not make it to the race this year. The 60-year-old German is only recently out of hospital, where he had to have fluid drained from his skull. The doctors have told him to stay home and stay quiet – a difficult task for Senft, who is well-known for his grimaces and leaps as he urges the peloton on during the mountain stages.

But don't worry, the Tour Devil has every intention of being back in 2013 and is full of plans to build even bigger and better bike models while recuperating! SW

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