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Groenewegen wins as chain proves the weakest link for Cavendish

Groenewegen wins as chain proves the weakest link for Cavendish

And so it proved as a number of the Tour's big names suffered falls, with BMC's Richie Porte abandoning the race after crashing 10km in, the general classification contender appearing to damage his collarbone.

Martin arrived in France looking to test himself in the general classification after defying two broken vertebrae in his back - suffered in a stage-nine crash - to finish sixth overall previous year.

The seventh stage of the tour de France "Tour de France-2018" was held on the route of the Glass of Chartres.

Australian Richie Porte pulled out after an early crash.

Digging deep within himself Bardet however somehow made it back to the Froome group shortly before the finish line after a huge effort that saw the French hope gasping for breath.

The last thing Martin needed the day after a heavy tumble was a stage over the rough cobbles of northern France, but that is precisely what Sunday's stage nine to Roubaix delivered.

There was talk before and during this year's Tour that Thomas could challenge Froome as Sky's team leader, even though Froome has won the last three Grand Tours.

The incident almost saw Degenkolb, the 2015 victor of Paris-Roubaix, lose a finger. Personally, I went down in Paris-Roubaix this year and broke my jaw in three places. - Peter the Great - There are two teams who have an obvious chance of winning the Arras-Roubaix stage who do not have a leader to protect, and they are Bora-Hansgrohe with Peter Sagan and Quick-Step with Niki Terpstra, Bob Jungels and Philippe Gilbert, none of whom would be a surprise victor.

This was the second consecutive "transition" stage that shifts the race across flatter areas to reach more hard terrain.

German cyclist John Degenkolb won the 9th stage of the Tour de France, his first stage win of his career.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure we should be putting cobbled stages in the Tour de France", he said.

In the General classification, van Avermat has maintained its leadership, its separation from British Geraint Thomas (Sky) was increased to 43 seconds.

"From what we know at this point, it looks like a straightforward injury and one that is quite common in cycling", Max Testa, BMC Racing Team chief medical officer, said later Sunday.

Then the riders will enjoy a day off at Annecy as the first part of the Tour comes to an end. "I was feeling all right, I was as in a good position all the time, so yeah, all in all, it was a pretty good day".


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