Roubaix, France: German John Degenkolb won the ninth stage of the Tour de France, a 156.5-km ride from Arras on Sunday.
Belgian Greg Van Avermaet took second place and retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Another Belgian, Yves Lampaert, was third.
Among the contenders for the overall title, last year’s runner-up Rigoberto Uran lost ground on his rivals after hitting the asphalt about 30km from the finish on a stage that featured 21.7km of cobbled sectors. Australian Richie Porte pulled out after an early crash.
Four-time Tour champion Chris Froome crossed in the main pack, 27 seconds behind, overcoming a tumble with 45 kilometres to go where a fan had to help him get going again.
Australian Richie Porte, the BMC team leader, crashed 10 kilometres into the 156.5-kilometre (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.
The peloton will enjoy their first rest day on Monday.