Tour de France: Richie Porte, the pre-race favourite, suffers heavy crash

If Richie Porte is to win the Tour his team-mates need to be around him more often in greater numbers and for longer argues Anthony Tan

If Richie Porte is to win the Tour his team-mates need to be around him more often in greater numbers and for longer argues Anthony Tan

The damage from a brutal stage took its toll: Porte and Thomas were just two of around 20 riders who crashed on the wet, narrow roads of the Jura.

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

Thomas, who had already crashed three times during this Tour, was second overall at the start of the stage, 12 seconds behind Team Sky teammate Froome.

A stricken Porte was treated by doctors before being carried into an ambulance and taken to hospital, while Martin picked himself up and finished the stage despite going down for a second time.

"Normally, a fractured clavicle and pelvis would require four to six weeks´ recovery, providing there are no complications, Testa said".

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

After numerous attacks including from Aru and Porte, Froome dropped the other GC rivals, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Aru unable to stay with the three-time Tour de France victor.

The 31-year-old had come into the Tour after his bid to win the Giro d'Italia in May ended in a crash - caused by a police motorbike -during stage nine to Blockhaus. "We hope both guys are both okay", said Froome's Sky team on Twitter. Two-time victor Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention.

"That's the thing with sports unfortunately, there will be other scenarios - good moments and bad moments".

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.

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.

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