TOUR CAR­NAGE

Porte KO’d by hor­ror crash at 45mph and Sky’s Thomas ruled out too

Daily Mail - - Tour De France - CHRIS MURPHY re­ports from Chambery

Moun­tain may­hem ruled the day at the tour de France as Chris Froome threaded his way through bro­ken bikes and bro­ken bones to in­crease his over­all lead by four sec­onds.

But while Froome breathed a sigh of re­lief af­ter stage nine — one so sav­age that even the race doc­tor’s med­i­cal car was smeared with blood — his ri­vals were left lick­ing their wounds, par­tic­u­larly Richie Porte who went out of the tour af­ter a high- speed hor­ror crash on the de­scent of the Mont du Chat.

‘ it hurts to see that,’ said Froome as he watched re­plays of Porte’s 45mph crash. ‘it was ter­ri­ble. i just hope he re­cov­ers oK.’

But Porte, who suf­fered hip and shoul­der frac­tures, was not the only rider to crash out. af­ter his fourth fall in a week, Geraint thomas, win­ner of the first stage, was forced out with a bro­ken col­lar­bone af­ter crash­ing on the de­scent of the Col de Biche.

‘Ev­ery­one was ner­vous, ev­ery­one wanted to be at the front,’ said thomas of his crash. ‘a few peo­ple were bat­tling to get be­tween my­self, Froomey and the rest of the boys.’

thomas was brought down af­ter the rider ahead of him slid to the ground. ‘i had nowhere to go, went over the top of him and landed on my col­lar­bone,’ said thomas, who also crashed out of this year’s Giro d’italia in May.

‘i got back on the bike and car­ried on down the de­scent,’ he ex­plained. ‘But when i got on the flat i knew some­thing was wrong. So i ended up stop­ping, then i went for a scan and it’s bro­ken.’

Sky rider thomas, al­though fully com­mit­ted to Froome’s cam­paign for a fourth tour win, ad­mit­ted he was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed. ‘i crashed at the Giro on stage nine and it’s stage nine again. i was ly­ing sec­ond over­all in both. it’s just so dis­ap­point­ing.’

Porte’s crash, on a dan­ger­ous de­scent made even more treach­er­ous by rain, was one of the worst seen in re­cent tours. ‘i guess the or­gan­is­ers got what they wanted,’ said Dan Martin of ire­land, who col­lided with Porte as the amer­i­can’s bike slid into his path. ‘i don’t think any­one wants to takes risks, but it was so slip­pery. Richie lost it on one cor­ner, locked his back wheel and there was nowhere to go.’

Froome added: ‘i’ve seen the im­ages of Richie crash and that just leaves you with a hor­ri­ble feel­ing. it was a crazy stage.’

AFP

Flat out: Richie Porte is treated for his in­juries while (in­set) Geraint Thomas puts on a brave face

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