John Degenkolb is relieved

July 15 th 2018 - 16:29

Two and half years after a life threatening accident, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) took his first Tour de France victory following six second places in six participations. A Paris-Roubaix winner in 2015, he achieved his goal in Roubaix as he outsprinted yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet and Belgian champion Yves Lampaert. Pre race challenger Richie Porte abandoned the Tour de France in a crash before the cobblestone sections.

169 riders started stage 9 in Arras. One non starter: Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin). Five riders rode away right after the flag off: Omar Fraile (Astana), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jérôme Cousin and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie). They were rejoined at km 20 by Chad Haga (Sunweb), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie). But the main fact of the early part of the race was the abandon of Richie Porte (BMC) who broke a collarbone in a crash at km 7. José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) was also forced to pull out. The maximum time gap was 3’49’’ at km 35.

Three flat tyres for Bardet

Tolhoek was ejected from the breakaway as he punctured on the first cobbled sector at km 47. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) was the first GC contender to puncture but he made it back. Team Sky put the hammer down with 65km to go. The peloton was split for a while. Race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) sped up with 50km to go on the seventh cobbled sector where Bardet sustained a second flat tyre. Chris Froome (Sky) crashed with 46km to go but without any consequences. Other crashes affected Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First).

Lampaert at Camphin-en-Pévèle

Gaudin and Janse van Rensburg rode away with 37km to go. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) was first to bridge the gap 20km before the end. At the bonus point with 18km remaining, Van Avermaet took 3’’, Stefan Küng (BMC) 2’’ and Dan Martin (UAE) 1’’. Yves Lampaert (Quick Step) accelerated on the cobbled sector of Camphin-en-Pévèle. Van Avermaet and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) accompanied him. Bardet had a third flat tyre with 6km to go and took place in the Landa group. Degenkolb won the sprint of the leading trio in Roubaix with Philippe Gilbert beating Peter Sagan for fourth place. Van Avermaet extended his lead in the overall ranking before the rest day preceding the mountains.

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