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Everybody said I'm done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory

Everybody said I'm done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory

Germany's Degenkolb would outsprint Belgian riders Yves Lampaert and yellow jersey Greg van Avermaet at the end of the 156 kilometre stage which began in Arras Citadelle.

BMC Racing Team rider Richie Porte (C) receives medical assistance after crashing with Lotto Soudal team rider Jens Keukeleire (L) of Belgium.

The BMC team leader broke his collarbone and pelvis in last year's crash and was faced with the same decision to abandon after today's crash.

Four-time victor Chris Froome saw his 2014 Tour ended on a similar cobbled stage - though he never even made it to the first sector that year - and the Team Sky rider expects a major shake-up of the general classification.

Added Thomas, "It was just hard all day from kilometer zero".

Speaking with SBS in the aftermath, Porte said it was over for him nearly as soon as the crash happened.

For some top climbers gunning for Tour de France glory, the race could be over before they even reach their first mountain pass.

Tour de France 2018: Groenewegen beats Sagan, Greipel and Gaviria again in thrilling sprint finish

Degenkolb was the victim of a serious training accident in January 2016 when a auto drove into oncoming traffic.

Green jersey Peter Sagan, this year's Paris-Roubaix champion after an attack from 53km, was furious with himself after a lapse cost him a place on the winning break.

And Romain Bardet suffered a string of mechanical issues, as the general classification contenders endured a testing day on the cobbles.

Degenkolb became the third rider to win both Paris-Roubaix and a cobbled stage at the Tour after Roger De Vlaeminck and Bernard Hinault. "Although you can never count Chris (Froome) out, Geraint is looking very strong", added Porte, who is part of a growing group who see the Welshman as the emerging force for Sky. "I was feeling all right, I was as in a good position all the time, so yeah, all in all, it was a pretty good day". It's a stage where you go all out.

Porte's 2018 demise means the three main Australian drawcards for the Tour this year either have not started or are out of the race.

Dutch ace Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to a second straight win on stage eight of the Tour de France on Saturday as second and third Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria were disqualified for elbowing and headbutting at 70km/h.

"The power is still there and the condition is still good", the UAE Team Emirates rider told Press Association Sport on Monday's rest day.

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