July 16, 2018
Tour de France 2018: Stage 9
Arras to Roubaix, 156.5km
Degenkolb roars back to victory, Porte out of Tour with broken collarbone.
A day on the cobbles proved hell from some, heaven for others. The hardest day of Le Tour did more than shake up the peloton physically as key riders lost places. After a battering 156.5km across 15 cobbled sectors victory eventually went to a resurgent John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), with second placed Greg van Avermaet (BMC) gaining time to extend his GC lead.
"Pure happiness," answered Degenkolb when asked what was going through his mind when he had won. "I was chasing this victory for so long, and it's really hard to describe. It was a really hard fight the whole day. It's also a victory of the team. We really had a plan to stay out for the trouble all the time and it really worked out really well. It's unbelievable."
Degenkolb was part of a three man break that had emerged ffrom the day's chaos, the otehrs beign Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors). 19 seconds behind were another group of dangerous rivals that included Peter Sagan and Phillipe Gilbert.
Degenkolb, who had suffered a near career ending injury when as part of a group of six riders he was hit by a car while out training in southern Spain, was driven by a determination to be on the top step of the podium again:
"In relation to what has happened in the last two years, this is pretty unbelievable. So many people said he's done, he's over, he will never come back. I am so happy to show all these guys who didn't believe me that I am still there, I am still alive. I think that's also what I took out of this accident: that you have to be happy after such a horrible crash that you are still alive, you're still there. I was fighting my way back, and I am so proud.
"This is a very big victory, since a very long time," continued an emotional Degenkolb. "I have been through a lot of things in the past, and it was such a hard time. I want to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends who passed away last winter. This was really something for him because I said no, I am not done. I have to make at least one really big victory him, he was like my second Father"
Porte out of Tour
BMC's Richie Porte has crashed out of the Tour, breaking a collarbone in a fall even before the cobbled sectors were reached. he was joined by Movistar's José Rojas in hospital.
Crashes brought havoc with Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) and Dylan Groenewegen among the notables. The American lost nearly six minutes to tumble 27 spots to 30th overall.
The GC still has a Van Avermaert at the top, with Geraint Thomas 43" back, and Phillipe Gilbert third.
Stage 9 Video Highlights (courtesy of ASO)
Stage 9 Results
July 7, stage one: Noirmoutier-en-l'Île to Fontenay-le-Comte, 201km
July 8, stage two: Mouilleron-St-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km
July 9, stage three: Cholet, team time trial, 35.5km
July 10, stage four: La Baule to Sarzeau, 195km
July 11, stage five: Lorient to Quimper, 204.5km
July 12, stage six: Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan, 181km
July 13, stage seven: Fougères to Chartres, 231km
July 14, stage eight: Dreux to Amiens Métropole, 181km
July 15, stage nine: Arras to Roubaix, 156.5km
July 16: Rest day (Annecy).
July 17, stage 10: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand, 158.5km
July 18, stage 11: Albertville to La Rosière Espace San Bernardo, 108.5km
July 19, stage 12: Bourg-St-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez, 175.5km
July 20, stage 13: Bourg d’Oisans to Valence, 169.5km
July 21, stage 14: St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende, 188km
July 22, stage 15: Millau to Carcassonne, 181.5km
July 23: Rest day (Carcassonne/Bagnères-de-Luchon)
July 24, stage 16: Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km
July 25, stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, 65km
July 26, stage 18: Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau, 171km
July 27, stage 19: Lourdes to Laruns, 200.5km
July 28, stage 20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette; individual time trial, 31km
July 29, stage 21: Houilles to Paris Champs-Élysées, 116km