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Tour de France: Richie Porte, the pre-race favourite, suffers heavy crash

Tour de France: Richie Porte, the pre-race favourite, suffers heavy crash

Stage 9 of the 2017 Tour de France was expected to be a tough one before racers got a day of rest, but no one could've expected a bad crash like the one we witnessed on Saturday morning involving Richie Porte.

Geraint Thomas was sitting in a Sky team auto, his shoulder wrapped in gauze, wondering if his 2017 season is cursed.

The Australian missed a downhill bend, cartwheeling across the road and bowling over another rider, Dan Martin, before hitting a grassy bank.

Froome was already without team mate Geraint Thomas, who abandoned after crashing in the slippery descent of the Col de la Biche, one of three out-of-category ascents of the day.

"I managed to catch the group in front of me after I crashed the second time - I was flying down the mountain", he said with a smile.

However, organisers said he was conscious and speaking but was being taken to hospital.

Martin lost more than a minute, as did Movistar's Nairo Quintana, three times a runner-up in the race, while former victor Alberto Contador of Trek Segafredo seems to be out of contention after losing over four minutes.

Bardet is up to third, with Uran fourth after his stage win.

"It's a massive disappointment", Thomas said.

"I don't know what it is for this year, it's just not happening". I crashed at the Giro (d'Italia) on stage nine, and it's stage nine again here. "It's just so disappointing".

He beat France's Warren Barguil of Team Sunweb after a photo finish.

The 30-year-old had to get the neutral service mechanic to lift his chain into the highest gear so he could continue to the line, where a photo finish decided it. "When I've been told I did, I've felt a lot of happiness".

"Where I crashed, I don't think it was [too dangerous]".

"Then my derailleur was out of order".

Bardet looked destined to pick up a stage win at the home of his Ag2R-La Mondiale team's headquarters, but it was not to be.


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