Tour de France 2017: Froome loses 'rear-gunner' Thomas after brutal stage

Tour de France 2017: Froome loses 'rear-gunner' Thomas after brutal stage”

But just under halfway through the mountainous 181.5km ninth stage from Nantua to Chambery, Thomas crashed hard on a fast and wet descent.

Uran took victory in a photo finish ahead of Warren Barguil, one final twist of drama on a day that will live long in Tour history. Briton Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after finishing third.

Dan Martin crashed twice on an action-packed ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday as he slipped back to sixth place on general classification.

Fabio Baldato of BMC and Team Sky's Dave Brailsford also spoke to Eurosport after Stage 9. Porte was given immediate medical assistance.

"He was always conscious".

Martin crashed first in the incident that saw Richie Porte abandon the race, and then again shortly after when his brakes didn't work with a replacement wheel.

"He had a lot of pain but we need to wait for the doctors", he said.

"I want to say thank to you Richie and thank you to the rest of the group for not taking advantage".

Uran is fourth, 55 seconds off the pace while Astana look set to work as a double act from now on as Dane Fuglsang is fifth, 1:37 behind Froome.

Froome suffered a mechanical problem on the way up the Mont du Chat, the last of three hors categorie climbs on the day, and as the three-time Tour victor was calling for the team auto Aru attacked in a clear breach of cycling's protocol.

After picking himself up, Martin finished in a group including Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Orica-Scott's Simon Yates, one minute and 15 seconds behind the leaders. He was at the inside of me a few times on the corners, just desperate to get around me.

Porte's crash was the most dramatic as he clipped the grass verge on the inside of a bend on the lightning quick descent down the fearsome Mont du Chat less than 25km from the finish.

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