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Watch: The horror crash that has ruled Richie Porte out of the Tour de France

Organisers said the Australian was conscious and speaking but was being taken to hospital.

Australia's Richie Porte gets medical assistance after crashing in the descent of the Mont du Chat pass during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race.
Australia's Richie Porte gets medical assistance after crashing in the descent of the Mont du Chat pass during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race.
Image: AP/PA Images

AUSTRALIAN RICHIE PORTE was taken to hospital after crashing spectacularly out of the Tour de France on a treacherous and costly ninth stage on Sunday.

Briton Geraint Thomas, who started the day second overall, had already crashed out 100km from the finish when Porte, who was fifth, slipped off the tarmac and onto a grass verge on the inside of a rapid descent.

He careered across the road and clattered into Ireland’s Dan Martin, bringing the two crashing into the rocky side of the road in the final 25km of the 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery.

Devastating images of @richie_porte coming from the road after a nasty crash. Richie will be taken to hospital for examination,” said Porte’s BMC team on Twitter.

BMC said Porte had suffered a fractured collarbone and a fractured pelvis, both non-displaced, adding that the injuries would not require surgery and would normally require four to six weeks’ recovery.

Source: Guardian Sport/YouTube

Porte was given immediate medical assistance by an ambulance and some minutes later hadn’t moved.

However, organisers said he was conscious and speaking but was being taken to hospital.

“He had a bit more fear than pain but for the moment it’s reassuring as he was conscious and that’s the most important thing,” said Florence Pommerie, one of the Tour doctors.

These guys are tough but we need to wait a bit longer to get the medical results.”

Thomas had crashed on another descent much earlier in the stage and quit the Tour with a fractured collarbone.

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.

Horrible scenes on the descent as Porte and Martin crash hard. We hope both guys are both okay,” said Froome’s Sky team on Twitter.

Five riders in total crashed out of the race on Sunday while two-time former winner Alberto Contador was able to carry on quickly after coming down on an uphill section.

Martin continued after Porte took him down, despite crashing a second time shortly afterwards.

Nicolas Roche, Porte’s BMC team-mate and Martin’s cousin, said the Australian would get over this heartbreak.

“He probably doesn’t want to think about it, he probably doesn’t believe this thing’s happened,” said the Irishman.

That’s the thing with sports unfortunately, there will be other scenarios — good moments and bad moments.”

The numerous crashes led some to question whether the stage was too dangerous.

However, Porte’s BMC sporting director Fabio Baldato insisted the team had come prepared, particularly for the Mont du Chat climb and descent.

He (Porte) did it four times before the race, he did it in training, he did it in a race (the Criterium du Dauphine).

“We knew it was a dangerous one but we can’t say anything else.”

© AFP 2017

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