Porte crashes out of Tour de France

John Degenkolb won the ninth stage of the Tour de France

Van Avermaet stretches his lead over Team Sky's Geraint Thomas to 43 seconds, but that will be of little comfort to BMC Racing, as their main overall hope Richie Porte crashed and abandoned just 7 kilometres into the 156.5-kilometre stage from Arras and Tejay Van Garderen also lost time.

Porte, who was also forced to abandon the race after crashing on stage nine past year, had been considered a legitimate contender for the yellow jersey.

He also crashed out at stage 9 past year while 2014 saw him struck down with pneumonia while challenging for the yellow jersey with Team Sky - ultimately finishing 23rd, while a puncture in 2016 saw him lose two minutes which he never quite managed to make up, going on to take a fifth placed finish.

He crashed out in dramatic fashion during a mountain descent in 2017 at the same stage.


He was sitting 10th in this year's race, 57 seconds behind yellow jersey holder Greg van Avermaet of Belgium.

Team Sky's twin-pronged attack of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, and Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates, all managed to finish safely in the main group of general classification contenders, half a minute or so behind the stage nine victor John Degenkolb [Trek-Segafredo].

BMC confirmed that Porte has been taken to hospital for X-rays.

"No one could have imagined this is the way Stage 9 would have started but we still have 7 riders in the race and we are behind them 100% of the way".

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