Image credit: Getty Images
Our resident race reporter, Glenn Te Raki, brings you the action from a busy stage nine of the 2017 Tour de France.
It was a Stage I’m sure almost every Australian wants to forget… Just as it looked like Aussie team BMC rider Richie Porte was about to stamp some authority onto this year’s Tour de France, he finds himself in a French hospital with a broken collarbone and a fractured pelvis in what can only be described as a horrific accident as the riders descended the final climb of the day.
Dan Martin from the Quick-Step Flooring team was also caught up in the fall as Porte slid across the bitumen before being thrown into the banking on the opposite side of the road. Martin was quick to remount and seems unaffected physically but will be effected by taking a time hit on main favourites.
It was an action-packed day from the beginning which unfortunately also ended abruptly for another TdF star, Team Sky rider and day one ‘Yellow jersey’ wearer Geraint Thomas, who also fell in the early stages of the race to suffer another suspected broken collarbone.
Current race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) was put under some pressure when he punctured on that same final climb as Fabio Aru (Team Astana) looked to attack at the same time, Frome looked agitated as he waited for a bike change but was quick to remount and with the help of his strong Sky team members, it didn’t take long to regroup with the front bunch of riders including Aru who seemed to have been told in no uncertain terms the attack was out of order.
The race to the line was fast and it looked like the local French favourite Romain Bardet (AG2R) may hold on for a popular win but the power being applied from Froome, Aru and his team mate Jakob Fuglsang would see the Frenchman caught just a few km’s before the line.
The sprint was opened up by another Frenchman, Team Sunweb rider Warren Barguil but a final desperate throw to the line would see the Cannondale-Drapac rider, Rigoberto Uran take the close victory. It was an outstanding effort by Barguil to take the second position after being in an early break most of the day.
We also witnessed another great performance from the Kiwi LottoNI-Jumbo rider George Bennett, the 2017 Tour of Californian winner was seventh over the line just 1.15 behind the front group. It’s Bennett’s best performance in a Grand Tour Stage and looks to be eyeing a top 10 over-all performance.
Other Stage placings of note –
- George Bennett NZ – LottoNI-Jumbo 1.15
- Adam Hansen – Lotto Soudal 27.10
- Simon Clarke – Cannondale Drapac 27.10
- Patrick Bevin NZ– Cannondale Drapac 27.10
- Michael Matthews Team Sunweb 27.10
- Damien Howson Orica-Scott 27.10
- Dion Smith NZ Wanty – Groupe Gorbet 29.15
- Jack Bauer NZ Quick-Step Flooring 29.15
- Mathew Haymen Orica-Scott 37.26
- Jay McCarthy Bora-Hansgrohe 37.26
OLT Mark Renshaw Dimension Data
DNF Richie Porte Team BMC