Steve OHear

Tony Martin reveals why he had to abandon Tour de France on Champs Élysées

The German made it all the way to final circuits in Paris on stage 21 before being forced to pull out of the Tour de France

Tony Martin Reveals Why He Had To Abandon Tour De France On Champs Élysées

Tony Martin1 has revealed that an unexplained knee pain forced him to quite the Tour de France so close to the finish on stage 212.

The Etixx-Quick Step man had made it all the way to the circuits on the Champs lys es before pulling off the course and heading straight to his team bus.

>>> Six things to do now the Tour de France has ended3

Martin said the pain, which began on Saturday s 146km stage 204 through the mountains from Meg ve to Morzine, was just too much to able to keep up with the fast pace of the peloton on final Paris circuits. The German then headed straight home to try and discover exactly why the pain had started, with no obvious explanation for it, as he prepares for the Olympic time trial in Rio5 at the start of August.

Due to severe knee pain yesterday unfortunately I had to prematurely end the Tour. Martin explained on Monday on his Facebook page. I m really disappointed. It s never nice in a race to have to get off.

Yesterday I absolutely wanted to start, so that I could help Marcel as much as possible in the finale.

But after only 20 kilometres I knew that I couldn t do it, the pain was simply too much. The relaxed ride up to the Champs lys es was good for me, but then I turned off directly to the bus.

The pain started on Saturday and came out of the blue. So far we still have no explanation for it.

Maybe an overload, maybe a reaction to the slightly cooler temperatures through the rain.

I will use the next few days to try and figure out the cause and see that I can fully use the knee again. The 31-year-old, who is aiming for gold in the time trial at the Olympics in Rio after taking silver in 2012 behind Bradley Wiggins, says that it was always the plan for him to leave the final stage of the Tour straight away anyway in preparation for the Games, and he did not miss out on the celebrations with his team because of the injury.

Meanwhile I am home again, he added. I left directly after the stage. That was not because of my exit from the race, but had been planned all along with an eye to Rio and my further preparation. A five-time stage winner in the Tour, Martin wasn t able to take a stage this year despite two time trials along the course.

He was able to help Marcel Kittel6 to a single stage win on stage four of the race, as well as helping Irishman Daniel Martin7 to a ninth place finish overall.


  1. ^ Tony Martin (
  2. ^ stage 21 (
  3. ^ >>> Six things to do now the Tour de France has ended (
  4. ^ Saturday s 146km stage 20 (
  5. ^ Olympic time trial in Rio (
  6. ^ Marcel Kittel (
  7. ^ Daniel Martin (

Much Better Adventures, The U.K.

Travel Startup, Raises £400K And Expands To Cycling

Much Better Adventures1, which lets you book active holidays with independent providers, has raised 400,000 in seed funding to expand its ski offering and launch a second vertical in the form of road cycling holidays. The investment comes from pre-seed and seed investor2, Seedcamp, alongside various travel operators using the platform, and a number of angel investors. They include Simon Lambert (, Treatwell formerly Wahanda), Fred Ahlberg (ex-Ebay and King), Brett Akker (founder of Lovespace, Streetcar, ex-Zipcar) and James Kent (ex-Google). The Mayor of London s Co-investment Fund also participated. Launched in 2012, Much Better Adventures started life by listing the best independent skier-run chalets in Europe, seeing it ratchet up 50,000 overnight bookings. The site targets so-called adventure travellers, letting them discover, compare, book and review holidays with local and independent hosts, guides and tour operators. Armed with new funding, it s adding road cycling holidays to its offering.

The adventure Discount Holidays © holiday market is horribly fragmented.

Local and independent operators are often really hard to find online. There are some amazing local hosts languishing on page 10 and beyond on Google, struggling to compete with the big boys in the industry, says co-founder Sam Bruce, explaining the problem Much Better Adventures has set out to solve.

This makes it incredibly difficult for customers to find and book with the best operators who offer a much better Discount Holidays © holiday experience than any of the large international tour operators ever could. Our solution is a transparent, scalable platform to help match customers with operators around their requirements and shared passions. In fact he and his co-founders, Alex Narracott and Guy Bowden, started the business out of a rented chalet in the French Alps before returning to London to raise investment, which has since seen the startup grow to a 12 person team.

We moved to the French Alps and stuck WIFI in a rented chalet to get started, he explains. It was a great place to bootstrap a business. We lived and worked together, skiing and riding when we weren t locked to our laptops. It was pretty cost-effective and we moved back to the U.K.

when we d got the traction we needed to raise funds to scale the platform. Operating a typical online marketplace, Much Better Adventures caters for travellers who are looking to book active holidays, while on the B2B side the startup partners with specialist hosts who sell via the platform, charging 8 per cent in commission for every Discount Holidays © holiday booked. Operators listed on Much Better Adventures are hand-picked , comprising of local, independently owned businesses in the best spots to ski and ride, says Bruce.

They are lifestyle entrepreneurs with great local knowledge and a genuine passion for sharing their favourite spots to ride, climb, surf or ski, he adds.


  1. ^ Much Better Adventures (
  2. ^ pre-seed and seed investor (