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Geraint Thomas crashes out of 2017 Tour de France with broken collarbone

Geraint Thomas will not continue the 2017 Tour de France after a heavy crash on Stage 9

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has been forced to abandon the 2017 Tour de France after a hard crash on a descent during Stage 9.

Live footage showed the rider - who was sitting second overall - on the tarmac at the side of the road, and the fact that he was not getting up indicated that the crash was a serious one.

Earlier this season the Welshman had to leave the Giro d'Italia early after a crash involving a race moto.

Thomas's departure from the 2017 Tour de France will be a big blow to defending champion Chris Froome, who would have benefited from his teammate's strength in the mountains - both later on Stage 9 and also much later in the race.

At the time of the crash, AG2R La Mondiale were lighting up the race on the descent before the next hors categorie climb.

Their leader, Romain Bardet, went clear and forced the pace before Michal Kwiatkowski dragged the chasing yellow jersey group back on terms.

Once the groups were back together the numerical advantage swung in Team Sky's direction but it was still AG2R who set the pace on the front.

With almost 100km left to race the yellow jersey group was down to about a dozen riders, 5:34 behind the head of the race.