Tour de France 2018: John Degenkolb Wins Stage 9, Richie Porte Crashes out

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

Australia's Richie Porte, right, receives medical attention as he sits on the road with Belgium's Jens Keukeleire, center, after crashing during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 156.5 kilometers (97.2 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Roubaix, France, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Porte quit the race after the crash. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

John Degenkolb won Sunday's Stage 9 of the 2018 Tour de France, while Richie Porte, a contender for the general classification, retired from the race after an early crash.

The Australian, who also crashed out of Stage 9 last year, took a heavy fall on his shoulder and was immediately taken to the hospital. His retirement sent shockwaves through the peloton:

Here's a look at the full stage results:

Greg Van Avermaet, who finished the stage in second place, remains the leader in the overall standings.

Drama and incidents were expected on Sunday, as the peloton faced the dreaded cobblestones of northern France. Someone was always likely to see their bid to win the Tour go up in smoke, and for the second year in a row, Porte was involved in a crash that saw him retire.

While it wasn't as spectacular as last year's crash with Dan Martin, it was still a scary sight. Porte went down just a few kilometers into the stage and immediately reached for his shoulder. He didn't even attempt to get back on the bike.

Fans and pundits alike were devastated:

That wasn't the end of the drama, as Tom Dumoulin encountered an early mechanical issue and Romain Bardet suffered a puncture. The French contender had to make up a full minute, a tricky undertaking on the thin and packed roads of northern France.

The Inner Ring thought it cost him plenty of effort:

Rigoberto Uran was among the GC riders to lose time, while Bardet and Mikel Landa had to race hard just to stay in touch. Dumoulin, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde all added to the nerves with attacks near the final sector, but none of the GC contenders got away from the pack.

At the front, the specialists were always expected to battle it out for the race win. Three riders eventually got away, including the yellow jersey-wearing Van Avermaet―winner of the 2017 Paris-Roubaix race and clear favourite on the streets of Roubaix.

Peter Sagan was too far back to play a part in the sprint, in which Degenkolb attacked first and powered his way to the win. It was the German's first-ever Tour win.

Van Avermaet took second place and maintained his lead in the overall standings, although he's likely to lose that lead next week. Yves Lampaert finished in third place.

Monday will be a rest day in the Tour, before the peloton faces the first real uphill challenge on Tuesday. It will be a warm-up of sorts for Wednesday's stage in the high mountains, with the finish at La Rosiere.

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