Degenkolb wins chaotic Tour stage over the cobbles

Degenkolb masters cobblestones as Porte crashes out of Tour

Gaviria and Sagan were marking each other when Groenewegen surprised both and surged ahead on the final straight.

The Dutch rider won on stage seven in Chartres and was expected to feature again at the conclusion of today's 181 kilometre route from Dreux to Amiens.

"Obviously I'm devastated", said Porte.

In the General classification, the three leaders remained the same: the Belgian rider of BMC Racing's Greg van Avermat is the first, the second Briton Geraint Thomas of Sky, the third American Tja van Garderen of BMC Racing.

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"The first days were not good enough, the legs were not good".

That elevated Peter Sagan to second and John Degenkolb to third, with Brit Mark Cavendish credited with eighth place.

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Mark Cavendish finished 10th, something that sounds like a footnote, but Dimension Data were working for him and he was in a much better position before the road began to rise steadily - perhaps not to be counted out today.

"No one could have imagined this is the way Stage 9 would have started but we still have 7 riders in the race and we are behind them 100% of the way".

"I'm happy to keep the jersey".

This time, isolated from his team mates, it appeared impossible for him to get back to the group containing Froome - although as it turned out, he managed to limit his losses to a handful of seconds.

One of the overall favourites, Ireland´s Dan Martin who won the sixth stage on Thursday, crashed with 17 kms left and lost one minute 15 seconds, according to provisional results.

That challenge will be followed by a rest day on Monday before the race shifts to its first mountain stages in the Alps.

"I'm going to try and ride tomorrow but obviously it's going to be very sore", said Martin at his UAE Team Emirates bus.

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