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With a rear derailleur stuck in the 11-tooth sprocket for the final 20 kilometres due to a bent derailleur hanger, Colombian Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac won a chaotic Stage 9 of the Tour de France from a select group of GC contenders.
Uran’s stage win from a six-man sprint, in a photo finish against Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) was but one of many storylines on a day that saw several marquee riders on the ground, including Richie Porte, Dan Martin, Alberto Contador, Geraint Thomas, Robert Gesink, and Rafal Majka — with Porte, Thomas and Gesink all out of the race due to injuries.
The most severe injury belonged to Porte (BMC Racing), who came to this Tour as a heavy GC favorite and started the stage sitting fifth overall. On the descent of Mont du Chat with 23km remaining, Porte misread a corner and lost control, sliding across the road at high speed and into a rock wall. Porte’s crash put Martin (Quick-Step Floors) on the deck, though the Irishman was able to continue.
Race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) withstood a mechanical issue, several attacks, spending the final 30km isolated without teammates, and the hectic descent of Mont du Chat to finish third on the stage and defend his yellow jersey.
“I have mixed feelings,” Froome said. “I am happy to be in jersey. That was a crazy stage. I’ve just seen images of Richie Porte’s crash, and it gives me a horrible feeling. I really hope he is alright, and has a speedy recovery. Also Geraint Thomas is out of the race with a broken collarbone, so yes I have mixed feelings about today. The rest of my team was fantastic, the guys did a massive job, to control that kind of race today was no easy task.”
Adding to the drama of the day, eight riders missed the time cut, including stage winner and green jersey contender Arnaud Démare and three of his FDJ teammates, as well as Matteo Trentin, one of the key men in Marcel Kittel’s Quick-Step Floors leadout train.