Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas out after crash on stage nine

Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas out after crash on stage nine

Overall, Froome leads Aru by 18 seconds and Romain Bardet by 51 as two-times victor Alberto Contador of Spain cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention.

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.

Martin remounted but was involved in another crash shortly afterwards, while Porte, widely regarded as the biggest threat to Froome's title defence, received treatment for nearly half an hour at the roadside before being taken away in an ambulance.

He lay motionless on the road for some time, being attended to by medics before being taken to hospital, although organisers said he was conscious and speaking.

At the time of the crash, AG2R La Mondiale were lighting up the race on the descent before the next hors categorie climb.

Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas out after crash on stage nine
Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas out after crash on stage nine

While Quintana fought back to limit his losses alongside the likes of Martin and British youngster Simon Yates - the white jersey from Orica-Scott - Contador struggled en route to finishing more than four minutes down on Froome.

Briton Froome's four bonus seconds on the line helped him increase his lead to 18 seconds over Italian Fabio Aru, who moved up a place to second with Thomas having quit the race. He held a 25-second gap as the yellow jersey group rode fast to the site of Porte's race-changing crash.

Fuglsang, the recent victor of the Criterium du Dauphine, led out the final sprint before Uran - no longer hampered by that gearing issue - powered past. He is now eighth overall, a massive 2:13 off the pace.

He careered across the road and clattered into Ireland's Dan Martin, bringing the two crashing. Other riders out include LottoNL-Jumbo's Robert Gesink.

Although the group went with Aru, they neutralised the Astana rider, and allowed Froome to get back into the group.

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