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Uran sprints to dramatic win after Porte and Thomas crash out

Uran sprints to dramatic win after Porte and Thomas crash out

Froome suffered a mechanical problem on 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 vehicle Aru attacked in a clear breach of cycling's protocol.

Pre-race favourite Richie Porte's Tour de France came to a brutal end when the Australian suffered a heavy crash on a descent during the ninth stage on Sunday. "Richie will be taken to hospital for examination", said Porte's BMC team on Twitter.

Froome will be relieved to have safely completed a stage filled with hazards, but the loss of Thomas could be hugely significant with Team Sky left weakened.

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

The Brit won the opening stage of the race and lay second overall going into Sunday's stage, 12 seconds behind Sky team-mate Chris Froome. Thomas had crashed on another descent, made treacherous by rain, earlier in the day, suffering a suspected broken collarbone.

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On descent of Mont du Chat, the final hors categorie, Porte crashed and skidded across the road and into the side of the mountain wall, with Daniel Martin (Quickstep) unable to avoid crashing into him.

Whether the timing was purely coincidental or whether Aru launched his attack in response to Froome being in trouble is unclear, but while other riders followed the Italian's move, the refused to help him, effectively neutralising the race until the yellow jersey rejoined them.

Porte had been having an exceptional day on the bike, riding in the yellow jersey group chasing the last remaining breakaway rider, Warren Barguil (Sunweb), when he appeared to misjudge a bend.

Twice former victor Alberto Contador was one of the big losers on the day from the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery.

Froome had his rivals - including Porte - to thank as the group neutralised Aru's attack while he was changing his bike on the lung-busting ascent to the Mont du Chat.

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