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

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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.