Richie Porte has abandoned the 2018 Tour de France after crashing on stage 9. The BMC Racing team leader fell inside the opening 10 kilometres of the stage, well before the race reached the 15 sectors of cobbles that defined Sunday's route to Roubaix.
Porte came into the Tour de France looking to secure a podium spot, and after clinching the Tour de Suisse title in June, looked set to challenge Chris Froome (Team Sky) for the yellow jersey. However just 10 kilometres into stage 9 Porte's race was over.
After his fall he was able to sit up, and move to the side of the road, but he held his right shoulder and was unable to remount his bike. The team later confirmed he had suffered a factured collarbone.
"Richie has been discharged by the hospital and the diagnosis is that he has a non-displaced right clavicle fracture," team physician Max Testa said in a press release. "He will need to rest for a week before he considers starting to ride on the home trainer.
"From what we know at this point, it looks like a straightforward injury and one that is quite common in cycling. We are expecting him to be back on the bike training in probably three to four weeks and potentially racing in six to eight weeks. We will continue to monitor Richie's recovery and adjust the plan accordingly."
Porte, 33, came into stage 9 sitting 10th on GC. He abandoned last year's Tour de France on stage 9 after a fall involving Dan Martin, and said he was devastated to crash out again.
"For the second year in a row I am ending the Tour de France like this. I was on the ground before I knew it and straight away felt pain in my right shoulder. I want to say a big thank you to my teammates for their incredible work over the first nine days. We had a great first week and I'm so disappointed that I won't be continuing to Paris. I hope to recover as fast as possible and get back to racing," Porte said.
Several other riders crashed at the same time as Porte, including his teammate Stefan Kung, Andre Greipel and Jens Keukeleire of Lotto Soudal, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Jose Rojas (Movistar). The Spaniard was also forced to abandon the Tour de France.