Froome retains lead on ultra-tough Stage 9, Porte out

Froome retains lead on ultra-tough Stage 9, Porte out

Froome retains lead on ultra-tough Stage 9, Porte out

Bardet is up to third overall, 51 seconds down, four seconds ahead of former Team-Sky man Uran.

Thomas's departure from the 2017 Tour de France will be a big blow to defending champion Chris Froome, who would have benefited from his teammate's strength in the mountains - both later on Stage 9 and also much later in the race.

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.

Team Sky announced the news on Twitter, saying: "Sadly GeraintThomas86 has been forced to abandon TDF2017 following that crash. So, thanks to Richie and I really hope he makes a speedy recovery there".

Stage honours were decided by a rare sprint finish between general classification contenders, with AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet fourth and Fabio Aru of Astana fifth. The Sunweb sprinter was part of the Sunday's large break and battled back after the HC duo of the Col de la Biche and Grand Colombier to win the intermediate sprint and move within 52 points of the Quick-Step Floors rider.

"Richie lost it on one corner - it was so slippery, I guess the organisers got what they wanted", he said.

Froome retains lead on ultra-tough Stage 9, Porte out

Three-times podium finisher Nairo Quintana of Colombia also struggled, losing 1:15 to Froome and his group.

Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran went on to win the stage.

"It's a massive disappointment", Thomas said. I crashed at the Giro (d'Italia) on stage nine, and it's stage nine again here.

"I don't know what it is for this year, it's just not happening". I was sitting second overall as well.

The 30-year-old had to get the neutral service mechanic to lift his chain into the highest gear so he could continue to the line, where a photo finish decided it.

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