wnol.info July 26 2017


Blow to Froome as Thomas crashes out of Tour

July 26 2017, 10:29 | Perry Erickson

Blow to Froome as Thomas crashes out of Tour

Froome keeps lead but loses trusted lieutenant

Australian Richie Porte is out of the Tour de France after he crashed heavily during a high-speed descent during the ninth stage on Sunday.

As a result, he had done well to contest the finish let alone contest it with a group that also included race leader and defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky, the Astana pair of Fabio Aru and Jakob Fuglsang, plus Romain Bardet of AG2R-La Mondiale.

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

Quintana and Spanish veteran Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had both been dropped by the favourites on the seventh and final climb of the day following a series of attacks from Froome and Porte on the Mont du Chat - making its first appearance on the race since 1974.

His absence will be a blow to Froome, who is trying to win a third successive Tour de France and fourth title in five years.

He crashed twice while wearing the yellow jersey, on stages two and four, and on Saturday went straight into a hay bale after he and Froome took a corner too fast on a descent during stage eight to Station des Rousses.

"He (Porte) did it four times before the race, he did it in training, he did it in a race (the Criterium du Dauphine)".

Porte missed a left-hand bend, cartwheeled across the road and bowled over another rider, Dan Martin, before slamming into a grassy bank.

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.

Although the group went with Aru, they neutralised the Astana rider, and allowed Froome to get back into the group.

After a well-earned rest day, the Tour resumes on Tuesday with a largely flat 178km Stage 10 from Perigueux to Bergerac, which should reopen the doors to the sprinters.



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