Tour de France: Richie Porte, the pre-race favourite, suffers heavy crash

Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome in yellow, Richie Porte & Geraint Thomas out

Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome in yellow, Richie Porte & Geraint Thomas out

"He was conscious, it's reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital", race doctor Florence Pommery said of Porte.

Froome, a three-time champion, suffered a mechanical failure on the last climb and ended up third at the finish in Chambery, in the Alps, in the stage won by Colombian Rigoberto Uran ahead of France's Warren Barguil.

Earlier this season the Welshman had to leave the Giro d'Italia early after a crash involving a race moto. Porte was given immediate medical assistance.

Porte, who is one of Chris Froome's main challengers for the yellow jersey, was conscious after the crash and was able to move his arm and legs but he will no longer compete in the race.

Speaking after the race, Martin said: "Richie lost it on one corner - it was so slippery, I guess the organisers got what they wanted. He was asking for his helmet, his glasses".

Froome suffered a mechanical problem on the way up 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 auto Aru attacked in a clear breach of cycling's protocol.

China: India 'trampled' worldwide law, treaty in border standoff
Beijing says the atmosphere is not right for a formal or bilateral meeting between both the leaders-Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi . India is concerned about how much access the road would allow China's military at such a strategic point.

"I want to say thank to you Richie and thank you to the rest of the group for not taking advantage".

Three-times podium finisher Nairo Quintana of Colombia also struggled, losing 1:15 to Froome and his group.

It was the fourth time already in just over a week that Thomas had crashed during this Tour.

Stage honours were decided by a rare sprint finish between general classification contenders, with AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet fourth and Fabio Aru of Astana fifth. He is now eighth overall, a massive 2:13 off the pace.

Porte's crash was the most dramatic as he clipped the grass verge on the inside of a bend on the lightning quick descent down the fearsome Mont du Chat less than 25km from the finish.

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