Luck Not on the Side of the Irish as Martin Gets Caught in Crash on Stage 8 of the Tour
Dubai, UAE, July 15, 2018: After yesterday’s stage, it was a day of more flat roads, this time in Normandy, as UAE Team Emirates took on Stage 8 of the Tour de France – a relatively short 181km route from Dreux to Amiens. It was another day made for the sprinters, with the peloton setting off at a pedestrian pace for the first half of the race. The stage looked to be a straight forward affair for the team until misfortune struck with 16kms to go and Dan Martin was involved in a crash that put him two minutes behind the lead riders. UAE Teams Emirates’ domestiques put in a valiant effort to help Martin close the gap and catch the front group, but with so little distance left of the race - and a number of teams pushing hard to catch the breakaway - it was always going to be a big ask. After giving it everything over the remaining part of the course, Martin managed to make up significant ground on his GC competitors, but still crossed the line 1:16” down.
At the other end of the peloton, the team’s sprinter Alexander Kristoff held his position at the front of the pack to contest a bunch sprint finish, with no lead out men, and cross the line in 6th position. However, the European Champion was officially awarded 4th place after Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step Floors), who finished second and third respectively, were relegated by the commissaries for two separate incidents in the finale. The race was won by Dylan Groenewegan (Lotto NL-Jumbo).
UAE Team Emirates’ Physician, Doctor Angelucci, reported: 'X-rays reported no fractures for Martin. He suffered a lumbar trauma and superficial wounds on the lumbar zone, as well as some grazing on his left elbow and back'.
Commenting on the crash Dan Martin said: “Obviously I’ve felt better. But it could have been a lot worse. It was just a case of wrong place, wrong time. There was a break ahead of us, someone moved across and took my front wheel away. I couldn’t do anything about it. I know the time loss isn’t the best thing, but the guys did a great job of bringing me back up. Thankfully nothing is broken, so now I need to focus on tomorrow’s stage, survive the cobblestones and then we’ll see how things are after the rest day. I’ve already won a stage and as I’ve said – anything else is just a bonus.”
Martin will continue his Tour de France at tomorrow’s Stage 9, which arguably has the most feared parcours of the entire Tour for the GC contenders. The race leaves Arras Citadelle for Roubaix along a 156.5km route which features 22 kilometres of cobbles divided into 15 different sectors, starting at the 108.5km mark and only ending with 8km to go. It will be two races wrapped together – one for the hardened Classics sprinters to win and the other for the GC contenders, who will be trying to stay safe and minimise their losses.
Stage Eight Results
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) – Lotto NL-Jumbo 4:23:36
2. Peter Sagan (Slo) – BORA - hansgrohe “
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) – Trek - Segafredo “
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) – UAE Team Emirates “
General Classification Standings
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) – BMC Racing Team 32:43:00
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) – Team Sky +0:07
3. Teejay Van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing Team +0:09
31. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates +2:47
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