Published Saturday, 10 May 2014
Irish rider Dan Martin crashed out of the Giro on the lower Newtownards Road (© Pacemaker)
The tour made its much anticipated arrival in Northern Ireland on Friday night, but Martin's aspirations of success in three weeks are already over after a collision which saw four of his team crash to the floor.
A Garmin-Sharp spokesman said: "Dan Martin was transported immediately from the site of the crash to a local hospital for evaluation, where doctors confirmed a broken clavicle. He continues to be evaluated for additional injuries."
Teammate Koldo Fernandez also sustained a broken collarbone while Andre Cardoso and Nathan Haas will undergo further medical evaluations before a decision is taken on whether they are fit to continue the 21-stage Giro.
Sporting director for Garmin, Charly Wegelius, said: "Today was a tough day and means a change in strategy for the team. We came in with two leaders, Dan and Ryder, and a strong team built to support them and give us options throughout the race."
It's heartbreaking for Dan in particular, we all know how much this meant to him, but that gives us motivation.
"We still have a strong team and we have Ryder, who's already won here," he said.
"These guys are not just teammates, 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."
Team leader and 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal will start stage two 3mins 26 secs behind the Orica GreenEdge team just before 11am on Saturday.
He expressed his sympathy for Martin.
"You never want to see something like this happen. Right now, I'm just concerned for my teammates, Koldo and Dan, and I'm especially sad for Dan.
"I know how much it meant to him to be racing here and how much this race meant to him. But with that comes motivation for the rest of the guys here. We will refocus - we have a strong team here and we're fighters.
"We will look for opportunities for the rest of the race and do everything we can to make Dan and Koldo proud."
Svein Tuft will wear the Maglia Rosa for stage two after marking his birthday with the stage one victory alongside his Orica teammates.
Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran will be in hot pursuit, while Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez have ground to make up after disappointing team time trials with Movistar and Team Katusha respectively.
© UTV News