Tour de France: Dan Martin suffers after spill on stage eight

Irish rider caught up in crash inside final 20 km on Bastille Day stage

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands wins the eighth stage of the Tour de France ahead of Lotto Soudal rider Andre Greipel of Germany. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Dan Martin had a nightmare ending to stage eight of the Tour de France on Saturday, crashing hard inside the final 20 kilometres and suffering injuries to his elbow and back.

After getting a replacement bike his UAE Team Emirates squad rode hard to try to bring him back. Although they cut the deficit right down to under 40 seconds with approximately five kilometres to go, an increase in pace by the sprinters’ teams closer to the line saw this grow to one minute 16 seconds by the finish.

Martin was in a lot of pain after the stage and was forced to crawl up the steps of his team bus. The UAE Team Emirates doctor Antonio Angelucci gave an update after checks were carried out.

“X-rays reported no fractures for Martin, who suffered in the crash a lumbar trauma and superficial wounds and grazes on the lumbar zone, on left elbow and on the back.”


The Irishman also crashed heavily in last year’s Tour, fracturing bones in his back. He went on to finish sixth overall then, and will do what he can to recover from this latest mishap.

“I’ve felt better, obviously, but nothing is broken,” he said. “I’ve got to try and ride tomorrow now and get over those cobblestones, but it’s going to be sore. My back is a bit of a mess.

“The race seems incredibly nervous this year. I thought after yesterday that people would have realised that it hurts crashing, but obviously not. Hopefully I can survive through tomorrow’s stage now and we will see what the situation is after the rest day [on Monday]. That was the plan all along.”

Sunday’s stage to Roubaix features many cobblestone sectors. Martin would already have been nervous about that challenge, and will hope that his injuries don’t further complicate things. He slipped from 21st to 31st overall as a result of his fall, and is now two minutes 47 seconds off yellow.

Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen doubled up with his second win in as many days , bursting clear of world champion Peter Sagan and holding off Lotto-Soudal's Andre Greipel and Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria before the latter pair were relegated for irregular sprinting.

That gave Sagan second place and John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo third.

Mark Cavendish, looking to turn around a frustrating start to the Tour, was on the wheel of Sagan as the peloton rounded a left-hander on to the finishing straight with 600 metres to go.

But the Dimension Data man appeared to brush wheels with Groenewegen and did not truly contest the sprint before rolling home in 10th on the road, up to eighth once Greipel and Gaviria were removed from the results.

BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey, and extended his lead by one second to seven over Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas after nicking third place on the bonus sprint.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling