Issued on • Modified
Rest day on Tour de France after brutal ninth stage
Monday was a rest day for the Tour de France riders. It was well merited after a dramatic, mountainous 181.5-kilometre stage from Nantua to Chambéry.
Colombia's Rigoberto Uran won the stage with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas being hospitalised after spectacular crashes.
Porte came down hard as he clipped the grass verge on the inside of a bend on the lightning quick descent down the notorious Mont du Chat less than 25 kilometres from the finish line.
Chris Froome emerged through the debris of the ninth stage of the Tour de France with his yellow jersey intact but the race is over for Porte and Thomas, who came off his bike and skidded across the tarmac into Dan Martin, clattering both into the rock face on the other side of the road.
"Devastating images of @richie_porte coming from the road after a nasty crash. Richie will be taken to hospital for examination," said Porte's BMC team on Twitter.
BMC said Porte had suffered a fractured collarbone and a fractured pelvis, both non-displaced, adding that the injuries would not require surgery and would normally require four to six weeks' recovery.
"He had a bit more fear than pain but for the moment it's reassuring as he was conscious and that's the most important thing," said Florence Pommerie, one of the Tour doctors.
"These guys are tough but we need to wait a bit longer to get the medical results."
Martin was saved by his helmet which took the brunt of the impact and was destroyed. Even though he crashed a second time on that descent, he only lost 1min 15sec by the finish.
Thomas had crashed on another descent, made treacherous by rain, earlier in the day, suffering a broken collarbone.
There was a controversial moment on the final Mont du Chat climb between yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome and Fabio Aru, who is second in the general standings.
When Froome had a mechanical problem Aru appeared to break the unwritten rule not to attack the race leader in such a situation.
Not given any help from other overall contenders, Aru quickly relented and Froome caught up with his rivals.
But moments later he appeared to barge his shoulder into Aru.
In reactions after the stage, Froome denied he had pushed his rival but implied that he was not too happy with Aru attacking him while he had mechanical problems.
"I think certainly in the peloton there's a bit of an unwritten rule that when the race leader has some kind of an issue that prevents him from racing, then the group doesn't take advantage of a situation like that," said Froome, acknowledging that Aru, who denied he'd seen Froome's problem, "appeared to accelerate".
Top 3 after 9 stages:
- Christopher Froome (UK, Sky team) 38 hours 26 minutes 28 seconds;
- Fabio Aru (Italy, Astana Pro team ) at 18 seconds;
- Romain Bardet (France AG2R La Mondiale team) at 51 seconds.