Dan Martin reveals he finished Tour de France with two broken vertebrae - Road Cycling UK

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Dan Martin reveals he finished Tour de France with two broken vertebrae

Irishman admits diagnosis surprised him after career-best GC finish

Dan Martin (QuickStep Floors) secured his best ever GC finish at the 2017 Tour de France, coming in sixth… despite having fractured two vertebrae in his back.

The Irishman, 30, recovered from his involvement in the crash that ended BMC Racing’s Richie Porte’s Tour de France to ultimately finish 4’42” behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) overall.

But in announcing his absence from the Clasica San Sebastian one-day race this weekend, QuickStep Floors revealed he had done so with two small fractures.

Dan Martin finished the Tour de France in a career-best sixth overall despite fracturing two vertebrae in his back (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

“During the Tour I didn’t have any problems when racing, but off the bike I wasn’t feeling very comfortable, so this week I did a scan and got the news,” Martin said, reiterating his surprise at the diagnosis on social media.

He is expected to be out of action for three weeks due to the fractures, on his L2 and L3 vertebrae, with the Giro di Lombardia likely to be among his next major targets.

Martin’s crash on stage nine was caused when Porte slid across the road after misjudging a bend, leaving the Irishman nowhere to go but straight over the top of him.

He then crashed again after being given a neutral-service bike on which he says he ‘had no brakes’ before finishing the stage 1’15” down overall.

By the time the race reached the second and final rest day, however, he was still just 1’12” behind yellow jersey Froome overall but ultimately lost time in the crosswinds on stage 16, and again in the Alps as he paid the price for his team having been built around Marcel Kittel’s sprinting ambitions.

Martin ultimately finished 4’42” behind Chris Froome (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com)

Martin’s top-ten finish was his second consecutive one at the Tour de France, and third of his Grand Tour career in total after also finishing seventh at the 2014 Vuelta a Espana.

He went on to win the Giro di Lombardia that year – the second Monument win of his career – and is likely to be among the leading contenders for the season’s final Monument again in 2017.

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