Martin's Tour future uncertain after crash

Two-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin escaped without any fractures despite suffering a nasty fall on the first stage of the Tour de France.

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Despite that, he was suffering from concussion, a contusion on his left lung, widespread bruising, and a deep cut on his left elbow.

As a result, the team admitted that doubt still surrounds his chances of being at the start of Sunday's second stage.

"Tony Martin will join the rest of the team tonight after today's examinations," they said in a statement.

"Any decision on his participation at the second stage of the Tour de France will be taken after considering how the clinical situation evolves during the night."

Losing a team-mate of Martin's calibre would be a big blow to Mark Cavendish's prospects of enjoying a successful Tour, as the Isle of Man sprint specialist seeks to regain the green jersey for the best sprinter that he won in 2011 before losing out to Peter Sagan last year.

A host of riders, among them Alberto Contador, went to ground as the finish of the first stage, a 213-kilometre ride from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on Corsica, was marred by a series of crashes.

Martin, world time trial champion in 2011 and 2012, came off the worst of all, with reports that he fainted twice before he was carried away on a stretcher to be taken to hospital in Bastia.

A total of 10 riders were hurt in the same fall six kilometres from the line, including US rider Edward King of the Cannondale team, who injured his left shoulder, and Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard.

However, Sky later confirmed that both riders have been cleared to race Sunday's second stage.

Earlier Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil DCM) was one of the first to crash after running into the bunting barrier on the side of the road.


SBS will broadcast all stages of the Tour de France live.

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