Tour de France 2017: Froome takes control as Porte, Thomas crash out

Jul 10, 2017, 00:11
Tour de France 2017: Froome takes control as Porte, Thomas crash out

Dan Martin crashed twice on an action-packed ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday as he slipped back to sixth place on general classification.

A very hard day on the mountains saw Froome need a bike change but recover to take a commanding lead in the Tour as Porte and Thomas crashed violently.

Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Astana duo Aru and Jakob Fuglsang completed the top six before a chasing group including Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) came home one minute 15 seconds down.

The BMC Racing rider hit the rocks on his right-hand side and was attended to by medics, who carried him into an ambulance on a stretcher.

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Porte was taken to hospital in a neck brace after suffering concussion and multiple cuts.

Martin, though, produced a remarkable ride despite his two crashes to limit his losses.

And yet the Tour had started so well for the 31-year-old Briton, who won the opening stage time-trial, his first ever Tour stage victory, and held the yellow jersey for four days before giving it up to Froome on Wednesday's fifth stage.

"I had a mechanical problem with my gears, I had to change bike", said three-times champion Froome.

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Thomas had crashed on another descent much earlier in the stage and quit the Tour with a fractured collarbone.

"He (Porte) did it four times before the race, he did it in training, he did it in a race (the Criterium du Dauphine)".

Quick-Step Floors rider Martin got back on his bike after he took a new wheel from a neutral support vehicle.

If Quintana - 2:13 down in eighth place - kept his faint hopes of a first Tour crown alive, then the same can not be said of Contador: the former double Tour champion is now more than five minutes down on Froome in the GC.

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Twice former victor Alberto Contador was one of the big losers on the day from the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambéry.

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