Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead

Posted July 10, 2017

This was not the only bad crash on the ninth stage after Briton Geraint Thomas fractured his collarbone, forcing him to quit the Tour.

Thomas won the opening stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first four days of the Tour until Froome moved ahead of him in the GC.

Meaning not only has Froome lost a rival in Porte but he also lost a key teammate in Thomas in the same stage.

"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. "He was asking for his helmet and his glasses".

"Richie (Porte) was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery".

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The crashes were not the only cause of drama.

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. "I just don't know what Majka was doing".

Bardet is up to third, with Uran fourth after his stage win. "Job done!" Like Quintana he came home 1min 15sec behind Uran and now sits sixth at 1:44, with Quintana remaining eighth but now out to 2:13 behind Froome.

"Majka just came down right in front of me, and there was nowhere to go", Thomas told VeloNews.

At the time of the crash, AG2R La Mondiale were lighting up the race on the descent before the next hors categorie climb. It was stage nine as well.

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Monday is a rest day for the riders.

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.

I'm happy to still be in the jersey but at the same time that was a insane stage.

"Horrible scenes on the descent as Porte and Martin crash hard".

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