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Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead

Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead”

Uran got the verdict in a photo finish to what was an action-packed Sunday, denying Warren Barguil a stage win in his homeland by the narrowest of margins in Chambery.

Worse was to follow for pre-Tour favourite Richie Porte on the final descent, with a horror crash involving him and Ireland's Dan Martin forcing the Australian to abandon.

Martin remounted but was involved in another crash shortly afterwards, while Porte, widely regarded as the biggest threat to Froome's title defence, received treatment for nearly half an hour at the roadside before being taken away in an ambulance.

It meant race leader and reigning champion Chris Froome lost both a key team-mate in Thomas and chief rival in Porte on the same stage.

"He was conscious, it's reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital", Pommery said.

Thomas's race came to an end when he crashed on a corner while descending the Col de la Biche, with several riders in the break crashing at the same point shortly beforehand.

Froome survives chaotic day to retain Tour de France lead

Thomas began the stage second overall, 12 seconds behind Froome, despite having crashed in several other stages, including Stage 8 on Saturday, when he tumbled over a barrier on a descent.

Later on the slopes of the fearfully steep Mont du Chat, Martin - who was sitting in fourth place at the start of the day - and fifth-placed Porte came to grief, when the latter fell and brought down Martin.

"I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack", he added, saying he did not see Aru attacking past him as he raised his arms to ask for assistance.

Italian Fabio Aru replaced Thomas in second place going into Monday's first rest day.

Overall, Froome leads Aru by 18 seconds and Bardet by 51.

Twice former victor Alberto Contador was one of the big losers on the day from the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery.

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