Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas out after crash on stage nine
Jul 10, 2017, 00:34
Froome suffered a mechanical problem on the Mont du Chat, the last of three hors categorie climbs on the day, and as the three-time Tour victor was calling for the team vehicle Aru attacked in a clear breach of cycling's protocol. But other contenders including twice former runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombia lost more than a minute, as did Dan Martin, who courageously battled on despite being taken down by Porte's spectacular crash, and even coming off his bike a second time on that same perilous descent.
Thomas, who had already crashed three times during this Tour, was second overall, 12 seconds behind Sky team mate Chris Froome.
Porte was taken straight to hospital from the mountainside after a horrific high-speed crash. 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.
Thomas's race came to an end when he crashed on a corner while descending the Col de la Biche, with several riders in the break crashing at the same point shortly beforehand.
Later on the slopes of the fearfully steep Mont du Chat, Martin - who was sitting in fourth place at the start of the day - and fifth-placed Porte came to grief, when the latter fell and brought down Martin.
Porte had been having an exceptional day on the bike, riding in the yellow jersey group chasing the last remaining breakaway rider, Warren Barguil (Sunweb), when he appeared to misjudge a bend.
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. "I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack". Two-time victor Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention.
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