Porte Crashes Out Of Tour Following Crash In Cobblestone Stage 9

Degenkolb masters cobblestones as Porte crashes out of Tour

Tour de France 2018: Groenewegen beats Sagan, Greipel and Gaviria again in thrilling sprint finish

Australian cycling star Richie Porte said he is "massively disappointed" his Tour de France is over for the second year in a row after he crashed out on the tour's ninth stage.

Martin arrived in France looking to test himself in the general classification after defying two broken vertebrae in his back - suffered in a stage-nine crash - to finish sixth overall past year.

Despite missing out on the stage victory, Van Avermaet had the consolation of extending his lead in the general classification to 43 seconds to second place Geraint Thomas. "We're in a good position as we head into the Alps".

Former Sky man Porte said this week: "Sunday's going to be the roof shaker, it's all about Sunday now".

I honestly believed that if Richie could get through this stage he would be a realistic chance of winning this Tour de France.

Neither of their falls were as serious as that of Porte, whose race was ended by a stage nine crash for the second successive year.

There was more misfortune for BMC as Tejay van Garderen, who should assume the team leadership in the mountains, also crashed and could not chase back on, falling from third to 30th overall.

"I think it's fantastic, I can't find the right words to express how it feels to win", said Degenkolb, who now has stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

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"I've waited for this victory for so long", said Degenkolb, after his maiden stage win at the race.

Trek Segafredo's Degenkolb outsprinted Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert to win.

Van Avermaet picked up a one-second bonus overall during an intermediate bonus sprint at 20K from the finish.

Among the favorites in the overall standings apart from Froome: Alejandro Valverde is fifth (1:31 behind); Rafal Majka sixth (1:32); Jakob Fuglsang seventh (1:33); Adam Yates ninth (1:42); Landa 10th (1:42); Vincenzo Nibali 12th (1:48); Tom Dumoulin 15th (2:03); and Bardet 17th (2:32).

The BMC team leader broke his collarbone and pelvis in last year's crash and was faced with the same decision to abandon after today's crash. "When I saw these crashes I was on the brakes more often than usual because I just didn't want to end up somewhere in a hospital in France".

"I'm feeling good and optimistic about the upcoming stages", the four-time champion said on Monday, the Tour's first rest day.

Mikel Landa and Rigoberto Uran also took tumbles, the latter losing almost a minute and a half on the general classification group.

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