Wednesday 11 December 2019

Giro's Martin set for surgery this evening

Dan Martin was due to have surgery on his broken collarbone this evening after an opening stage crash ended his Giro d'Italia hopes.

The Irishman was hoping to be riding into Dublin where tomorrow's stage three is scheduled to finish, but will be in the capital 24 hours ahead of that schedule to have the operation.

Garmin-Sharp also confirmed that Martin's team-mate Koldo Fernandez, injured in the same crash during Friday's team time trial, would have an operation on his own broken collarbone at the same time.

Martin, who had been considered among the contenders to win this year's Giro, slipped on a drain cover in wet conditions in Belfast in a dramatic crash which brought down three of his team-mates.

The crash has left Garmin-Sharp's plans for the Giro in ruins as they are already two riders down, while 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal is more than three minutes off the pace after the disastrous time trial.

However, the team's director sportif Charly Wegelius has promised the team will fight on.

"It's heartbreak for Dan in particular, we all know how much this meant to him, but that gives us motivation," he said.

"We'll keep fighting forward. These guys are not just team-mates, they are good friends and we'll all use this as motivation for the next three weeks to shake up the race and create opportunities for ourselves.

"For the team to wait for Dan, for the whole team and the injured who were able to do so - to pick themselves up and press on - shows true courage and character and that's what we will continue to do here."

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