Dan Martin’s Vuelta ends due to concussion
Unknown if injury will affect chances of riding world championships
Dan Martin after a crash on stage seven of the 2013 Tour of Spain on Friday. The Irish rider has been forced to withdraw from the event with concussion. Photograph: Graham Watson/Unipublic
Dan Martin’s goal of adding Vuelta a España stage wins to the stage victory he took in this year’s Tour de France has come to an end with the news that the Irish pro rider has had to withdraw from the race.
Martin crashed 11 kilometres from the end of yesterday’s seventh stage, and while he was able to remount and reach the finish, he was taken to hospital afterwards for medical evaluation.
After a long assessment, he was cleared of fractures, but he had multiple abrasions on his right side and, more seriously, was diagnosed with a concussion.
Team doctors decided to wait until this morning before deciding if he could continue or not. Unfortunately, he was not able to do so.
“I’m out of the race – the concussion is pretty bad,” he told the Irish Times earlier today.
His team tends to play things safe with head injuries. While he is not thought to be in any danger, it was reluctant to put him back into competition at this point in time.
Martin won a mountain stage of the Tour de France in July and was aiming to take stage wins and possibly a high general classification finish in the Vuelta a España.
He was also riding the race as part of his build-up for the world road race championships at the end of September and it remains to be seen if the concussion will affect his chances of competing in Florence.
Martin is regarded as one of the favourites for this year’s tough worlds circuit, with his April win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège showing he could fight for the rainbow jersey.
However, being forced out of the Vuelta will complicate his chances of being in prime form for the race. Providing he recovers soon from the concussion, he could use other races such as the Tour of Britain as alternative preparation for the championships.
Before then, he will head back to his base in Girona and rest up.
The Vuelta continues today with a stage from Jerez de la Frontera to the mountain-top finish of Alto Peñas Blancas.
Ireland’s other rider in the race, Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) is currently third overall and is hoping for a strong performance on the climb.
He is just eight seconds off the race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and has pinpointed a top five overall finish as his goal for the event.
Last Sunday he won the second stage of the race, netting his first Grand Tour stage victory.