Top contender in high-speed crash during Tour de France

Nine men one mission... Team Sky

It meant race leader and reigning champion Chris Froome lost both a key team-mate in Thomas and chief rival in Porte on the same stage.

Chambéry: Tour de France favourite Richie Porte has suffered a serious crash on the final decent of stage nine of the Tour de France.

With a kilometre to go, Froome took the lead of a group of six but was beaten in the sprint as Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) held off Warren Barguil (Sunweb) and Froome to win the stage.

Thomas, who started the day second overall, had already crashed out 100km from the finish when Porte, who was fifth, slipped off the tarmac and onto a grass verge on the inside of a rapid descent.

On the descent on the Col de la Biche, the first of three hors categorie climbs on the stage, the French team laid devastation on the Tour, with Geraint Thomas crashing out of the race after suffering a suspected broken collarbone as Team Sky looked to reel in the attack.

"Richie (Porte) was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery".

"Horrible scenes on the descent as Porte and Martin crash hard".

"He was conscious, it's reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital", Pommery said.

It's the second time Thomas has been forced to abandon a Grand Tour this year after his early exit from the Giro d'Italia in May. Two-time victor Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention. He is now sixth overall, 1:44 minutes behind Froome, who claimed a third-place finish on the stage.

Whether the timing was purely coincidental or whether Aru launched his attack in response to Froome being in trouble is unclear, but while other riders followed the Italian's move, the refused to help him, effectively neutralising the race until the yellow jersey rejoined them.

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