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Degenkolb wins three-man sprint to take Stage 9 of the Tour de France

Philippe Lopez, AFP | Germany's John Degenkolb celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the ninth stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Arras and Roubaix in northern France on July 15.

John Degenkolb won a three-man sprint to conclude the action-packed cobblestoned Stage 9 of the Tour de France on Sunday, while overall contender Richie Porte crashed out of the race.

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Yellow-jersey holder Greg Van Avermaet crossed second and increased his overall lead to 43 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas. Yves Lampaert of Quick-Step finished third.

Four-time Tour champion Chris Froome crossed in the main pack, 27 seconds behind, overcoming a tumble with 45 kilometers to go where a fan had to help him get going again.

Porte, the BMC team leader, crashed 10 kilometers into the 156.5-kilometer (97-mile) leg - before any of the 15 cobblestone sections - and abandoned with an apparent right shoulder injury.

Rigoberto Uran, last year's runner-up, and Mikel Landa, one of three leaders of the Movistar team, also each crashed and lost time.

Romain Bardet, the French hope who finished on the podium the last two years, struggled through three punctured tires but kept his losses to a minimum.

It was the first career victory at the Tour for Degenkolb, a German who rides for the Trek-Segafredo team. Degenkolb won the Paris-Roubaix classic, which covers much of the same course, in 2015.

(AP)

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