Porte crashes out of Tour de France

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.

Chris Froome and Team Sky took control of the Tour de France on Stage 9, as Froome's general classification rival Richie Porte (BMC), Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas and many other riders crashed out of the race.

Thomas began the day second in the general classification, 12 seconds behind his Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome, and his exit will come as a major blow for the three-times Tour victor.

He won stage one of this year's race and wore the leader's yellow jersey until Froome took it after stage five.

It was a thrilling finish to a remarkable stage, but the nasty crashes for Thomas and Porte took the shine off the day's racing.

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BMC sports director Fabio Baldpate said Porte had remained conscious throughout.

Baldato added that Porte had ridden the descent four times before the Tour, including once in racing conditions during last month's Criterium du Dauphine.

Welshman Thomas, who was second overall at the start of the stage, has a suspected broken collarbone, according to the Tour's official website. "I managed to catch the group in front of me after I crashed the second time - I was flying down the mountain", he said with a smile.

Five riders in total crashed out of the race on Sunday while two-time former victor Alberto Contador was able to carry on quickly after coming down on an uphill section.

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. He is now sixth overall, 1:44 minutes behind Froome, who claimed a third-place finish on the stage. "I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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