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
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.
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 didn't even make it as far as the cobbles as he abandoned with a broken collarbone after crashing just 10km into the stage.
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 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's all-white European champion's kit looking a little worse for wear in the dust of north-eastern France.
Three BMC Racing riders stop to help Tejay van Garderen recover from a puncture on a disastrous day for the American team.
Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang leads Chris Froome and Peter Sagan through the dust at the head of the group of GC contenders.
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski goes crashing to the ground as he comes to grief on one of the cobbled corners.
Tom Dumoulin drives the pace on the front of the GC group as Peter Sagan negotiates a corner behind.
Romain Bardet sits at the side of the road having somehow avoided losing time despite numerous mechanicals and repeated chases.
And at the end of it all John Degenkolb was able to raise his hands in victory after an epic day of racing.