10 incredible images that tell the amazing story of stage nine of the 2018 Tour de France

A brilliant day of racing that will be hard to beat for the rest of the Tour

Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski goes crashing to the ground as he comes to grief on one of the cobbled corners.
(Image credit: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Stage nine of the 2018 Tour de France will live long in the memory, not only for John Degenkolb's excellent stage win, but for the 156.5km of non-stop drama that came before it.

The action started well before the riders hit the cobbles, with a crash after 10km claiming the race's biggest name abandonment so far as Richie Porte saw his Tour de France chances end on the tarmac for the second year in succession.

When the riders eventually hit the cobbles with around 110km we got a taste of what to expect as Romain Bardet suffered his first puncture of the day, and had a long chase to get back on

>>> Five talking points from stage nine of the Tour de France

In what was an eventful day for the Frenchman, he suffered two more punctures including one on the very last cobbled sector, but somehow managed to regain contact with the rest of the GC contenders meaning that he didn't lose any time.

As the testing roads and fatigue started to take their toll there were numerous crashes in the bunch with riders scattered across the roads of north-eastern France and Chris Froome among those to come down.

However while Froome was able to regain contact with the GC bunch, other contenders were not so lucky as Mikel Landa and Rigoberto Uran also came down to both lose time.

The end result was not only an incredible race, but some incredible photos, and we've picked out some of the best from the day for you to enjoy here.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte didn't even make it as far as the cobbles as he abandoned with a broken collarbone after crashing just 10km into the stage.

(Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Richie Porte

Richie Porte didn't even make it as far as the cobbles as he abandoned with a broken collarbone after crashing just 10km into the stage.

Alexis Vuillermoz

A forlorn Alexis Vuillermoz waits for a team car after giving his rear wheel to team leader Romain Bardet on the first section of cobbles.

(Image credit: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Alexis Vuillermoz

A forlorn Alexis Vuillermoz waits for a team car after giving his rear wheel to team leader Romain Bardet on the first section of cobbles.

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren was one of the victims of the countless crashes on stage nine, riding most of the stage with a ripped jersey and shorts.

(Image credit: ETIENNE GARNIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren was one of the victims of the countless crashes on stage nine, riding most of the stage with a ripped jersey and shorts.

Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff's all-white European champion's kit looking a little worse for wear in the dust of north-eastern France.

(Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff's all-white European champion's kit looking a little worse for wear in the dust of north-eastern France.

Tejay van Garderen

Three BMC Racing riders stop to help Tejay van Garderen recover from a puncture on a disastrous day for the American team.

(Image credit: B - Pool/Getty Images)

Tejay van Garderen

Three BMC Racing riders stop to help Tejay van Garderen recover from a puncture on a disastrous day for the American team.

Jakob Fuglsang

Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang leads Chris Froome and Peter Sagan through the dust at the head of the group of GC contenders.

(Image credit: STEPHANE MANTEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Jakob Fuglsang

Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang leads Chris Froome and Peter Sagan through the dust at the head of the group of GC contenders.

Michal Kwiatkowski

Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski goes crashing to the ground as he comes to grief on one of the cobbled corners.

(Image credit: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Michal Kwiatkowski

Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski goes crashing to the ground as he comes to grief on one of the cobbled corners.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin drives the pace on the front of the GC group as Peter Sagan negotiates a corner behind.

(Image credit: STEPHANE MANTEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin drives the pace on the front of the GC group as Peter Sagan negotiates a corner behind.

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet sits at the side of the road having somehow avoided losing time despite numerous mechanicals and repeated chases.

(Image credit: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet sits at the side of the road having somehow avoided losing time despite numerous mechanicals and repeated chases.

John Degenkolb

And at the end of it all John Degenkolb was able to raise his hands in victory after an epic day of racing.

(Image credit: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

John Degenkolb

And at the end of it all John Degenkolb was able to raise his hands in victory after an epic day of racing.