World time-trial champion Tony Martin was today planning to start the second stage of the Tour de France despite suffering a fractured hand on the opening road stage yesterday, his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team have confirmed.
After sustaining a fractured scaphoid, the German is set to wear a plastic cast on his left hand for the 207.5-kilometres second stage from Vise to Tournai.
The injury could yet have implications on Martin's hopes of Olympic time-trial success on 1 August.
"We will take it step by step, kilometre by kilometre," Martin said on the team's official website, www.omegapharma-quickstep.com.
"The first objective is to try and arrive to the next time-trial on next Monday.
"I know it won't be easy, it will be painful, but I really want to try.
"The Tour de France is really important for me and I don't want to give up without trying."
Martin's team-mate Jerome Pineau will also start after an X-ray showed no serious damage following a crash on stage one.
"I have pain on my right shoulder and my arm," Pineau said. "It won't be easy to ride my bike, but I am confident this morning it is already better than last night."