Sport

Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead

Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead

"Nothing to spark the wifey nerves please!"

Suddenly, Porte veered off the left-hand side at the apex of a bend onto the grass, where he lost balance and crashed. He careered across the road and clattered into Ireland's Dan Martin, bringing the two crashing. The later diagnosis of shoulder and pelvis fractures are miraculous.

The crashes were not the only cause of drama.

When the dust settled, Froome's lead in yellow increased from 12 seconds to 18 - now over Astana's Aru rather than his Sky team-mate Thomas - after he finished third in a six-man sprint to take the final bonus seconds. But he was struck down by pneumonia, ultimately finishing an inglorious 23.

He finished an impressive fifth in the Tour de France previous year - his first time as lead rider in the BMC team - despite numerous set backs, including a nasty collision with a camera-mounted motorbike.

But Porte was not the only one to abandon the race today.

There were high hopes for Porte's 2017 Tour. "Today was the one".

Earlier, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, who started the day in second overall, suffered a suspected broken collarbone in a crash on the damp descent of the Col de la Biche. By way of consolation, the Breton, already in sight the day before, took the polka dot jersey of best climber.




Porte will need a minimum of four weeks off the bike, said Testa.

Porte and Thomas join a list of star names to have left this year's Tour before Monday's first rest day, following Mark Cavendish, Alejandro Valverde and Peter Sagan - who was disqualified - out of the race.

Thomas had crashed on another descent much earlier in the stage and quit the Tour with a fractured collarbone. Rather than settling for a typical summit finale, ASO opted for the stage's fourth technical descent and a finish in Chambéry.

Among top names gone completely: Richie Porte and Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas, who led the Tour for its first four days.

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. Cycling is an inherently risky sport, but this was just gratuitous. Victor at 24 years, the French who disputes his first Tour de France, has been "bad as never" as explained at a press conference.

Long ride: Porte signed to Christie-Johnson's Australian domestic cycling team in 2008.

Twice former victor Alberto Contador was one of the big losers on the day from the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery. Stuart O'Grady wore the coveted green sprinter's jersey into Paris in 2001, only to lose it on the final day.

" I'm here to discover the Tour de France, it's only my second big Tour, finally recall the second French laureate since the beginning of the Tour".


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