Porte crashes out of Tour de France

Porte crashes out of Tour de France

Richie Porte, who was one of the top contenders in the Tour de France, has suffered a terrifying high-speed crash on Stage 9 of the race.

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.

Team Sky's race leader Froome stayed safe and extended his advantage in the yellow jersey to 18 seconds after contesting a sprint on the 182km stage from Nantua to Chambery, which featured seven categorised climbs. He careered across the road and clattered into Ireland's Dan Martin, bringing the two crashing.

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.

"He was conscious, it's reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital", race doctor Florence Pommery said of Porte.

Thomas went down on the slippery descent from the Col de la Biche and Team Sky say he has suffered a suspected broken collarbone.

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One of the pre-race favourites, Porte came off his bike on the descent of Mont du Chat and was immediately treated on the side of the road before being carried into an ambulance on a stretcher.

Monday is a rest day for the riders.

"I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack", he added, saying he did not see Aru attacking past him as he raised his arms to ask for assistance.

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

There was also drama on the climb of the Mont du Chat when Froome took exception to Aru making a move when the defending champion had to stop for a mechanical before the Brit's rivals sportingly slowed down.

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