A series of serious crashes overshadowed Rigoberto Uran's victory on stage nine of the Tour de France. Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte were forced to abandon the race while Chris Froome retained the overall lead.
Colombia's Rigoberto Uran has won stage nine of the 2017 Tour de France from Nantua to Chambéry in another photo finish, ahead of France's Warren Barguil and Britain's Chris Froome.
The day was overshadowed by a series of nasty crashes which saw Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, BMC Racing's Richie Porte and Team Emirates' Manuele Mori forced out of the Tour due to injury. Froome retained the yellow jersey, while Barguil took the polka dot jersey as the King of the Mountains.
After just 10km on the 181.5km stage featuring three large climbs, a breakaway group of 38 riders established an initial lead, featuring riders from every team except for Team Sky, a lead which was soon extended to five minutes over the peloton.
With 80km raced, Thomas, winner of the first stage time-trial in Düsseldorf and wearer of the yellow jersey for the first five stages, crashed on the descent from the Col de la Biche.
The Welshman was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone. Sky confirmed that he is now out of the Tour, a huge blow for teammate Froome.
France's Warren Barguil was the first to reach the summit of the 8.7km, 10.3% Mont du Chat, taking the spotted jersey in the process. Behind him on the ascent, Fabio Aru attempted to capitalize on a technical problem suffered by Froome, clearly seeing that the Briton had a problem and attacking.
However, others who went with him appeared to convince Aru to halt his attack. Once Froome had rejoined the group, he appeared to nudge Aru in passing him, before extending a hand as if in apology.
Down the other side of the Mont du Chat, Barguil raced away but, once again, the drama took place in the pursuing group. Australian Porte left the tarmac on a corner, the contact with the grass sending him crashing into Dan Martin at 72.5km/h and leaving both in a heap.
The Irishman was able to remount and continue but Porte remained immobile. Fortunately conscious, he was loaded into an ambulance.
Back in the race, Romain Bardet flew past Froome and closed in on his compatriot Barguil, taking the lead with 11km to go. But Froome and the chasing pack caught up and it was ultimately Uran who pipped Barguil to the line in a photo finish.
Froome will be glad to have come through what many consider to be the toughest of the Tour's 21 stages after seeing an important teammate in Thomas and a key rival in Porte both crash out.