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Tour de France

Crash forces Porte out of Tour for second year running

One of the favourites for the 2018 title, the Australian has now crashed out of the race on stage nine in two consecutive years.

Crash forces Porte out of Tour for second year running
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A tearful Richie Porte was forced to abandon the Tour de France for the second year running after a heavy crash on stage nine.

Sunday's 156.5km route from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix was anticipated to provide the most treacherous challenge of the race, mainly due to cobbled sections making up almost 22km of the stage.

However, the hopes of general classification contender Porte - who also crashed out on stage nine of last year's race - were dashed after just 10km as he came off his bike and appeared to damage his collarbone.

The BMC Racing rider - 10th in the GC standings at the start of the day and within a minute of leader Greg van Avermaet - was unable to continue and shed tears as he sat by the roadside.

In a dramatic start to the day, Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas also abandoned having been hurt in the same crash, while 2017 Giro d'Italia champion Tom Dumoulin suffered a puncture.

Porte's team duly confirmed the Australian had been sent to hospital for examination.

The first cobbled section, at 47.5km, had still to be reached.