Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) has been forced to abandon the 2018 Tour de France after crashing in the opening kilometres of the ninth stage.
The Australian was caught up in a crash in the peloton after just ten kilometres of the stage from Arras to Roubaix and could be seen clutching his shoulder after the crash. His BMC Racing team subsequently confirmed the news that their team leader had abandoned.
Others involved in the crash included Andre Greipel and Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar Team) and Simon Gerrans (BMC Racing Team). Rojas was also forced to abandon the race.
Porte was amongst the favourites for the overall win at the Tour and had started the stage in 10th place overall, 57″ behind his team-mate and yellow jersey wearer Greg Van Avermaet. The Tasmanian had been in good form leading up to the Tour having won the Tour de Suisse and finished 3rd overall at the Tour de Romandie.
Porte also had to abandon last year’s Tour de France on stage 9 from Nantua to Chambéry when he lost control of the bike on a corner and crashed hard, taking Dan Martin down with him.