Tour de France: Dan Martin loses ground after two falls

Tour de France: Dan Martin loses ground after two falls
Tour de France: Dan Martin loses ground after two falls

10 July, 2017

Pre-race favourite Richie Porte's Tour de France came to a brutal end when the Australian suffered a heavy crash on a descent during the ninth stage on Sunday.

As a result, he had done well to contest the finish let alone contest it with a group that also included race leader and defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky, the Astana pair of Fabio Aru and Jakob Fuglsang, plus Romain Bardet of AG2R-La Mondiale.

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.

On descent of Mont du Chat, the final hors categorie, Porte crashed and skidded across the road and into the side of the mountain wall, with Daniel Martin (Quickstep) unable to avoid crashing into him. "Richie will be taken to hospital for examination", BMC Racing Team wrote on Twitter.

However, organisers said he was conscious and speaking but was being taken to hospital.

Martin, though, produced a remarkable ride despite his two crashes to limit his losses.

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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.

If Quintana - 2:13 down in eighth place - kept his faint hopes of a first Tour crown alive, then the same can not be said of Contador: the former double Tour champion is now more than five minutes down on Froome in the GC. Other riders out include LottoNL-Jumbo's Robert Gesink.

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.

In Demare's absence, Australia's Michael Matthews emerges as the biggest rival for triple stage victor Marcel Kittel in the battle for green.

Quick-Step Floors rider Martin got back on his bike after he took a new wheel from a neutral support vehicle.

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