Tuesday 24 April 2018

Martin survives as Uran takes spoils

Martin: “We take the risks, but for sure today the route didn’t help with the rain.” Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier
Martin: “We take the risks, but for sure today the route didn’t help with the rain.” Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Daniel Martin had to pick himself off the deck after a horrific high-speed crash with Richie Porte to keep his Tour de France hopes alive on a chaotic stage nine that was won by Colombia's Rigoberto Uran.

Porte's Tour is over - he was taken from the mountainside and brought straight to hospital after slipping off the road and taking Martin out on the final descent after seven categorised climbs on a brutal 181.5km stage from Nantua to Chambery.

Martin was able to remount, and although he crashed again after his front brake was damaged in the initial incident, the Irishman managed to finish the stage in ninth and limited his losses to 1min 15 seconds.

When the dust settled, Chris Froome's lead in yellow increased from 12 seconds to 18 - now over Astana's Fabio Aru rather than his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas, who also crashed out.

"It's so slippery, and I guess the organisers got what they wanted," said Martin. "I don't think anyone wanted to take risks there, but it was so slippery under the trees. Richie locked up his back wheel, went straight into the grass, just wiped out, and his bike just collected me. I had nowhere to go.

"We take the risks, but for sure today the route didn't help with the rain."

On Saturday, home favourite Stefan Denifl won the Tour of Austria for Irish team Aqua Blue Sport after battling hard to hold onto his yellow jersey.

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