John Degenkolb earned his first Tour de France stage victory ©Getty Images

John Degenkolb celebrated an emotional victory on the ninth stage of the Tour de France after a chaotic cobbled stage in Roubaix, which saw Australia’s Richie Porte abandon following a crash.

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.

The Trek-Segafredo rider would cross the line in 3 hours, 24min and 26sec, following the three man move, which escaped in the final 17km.

It marked Degenkolb’s biggest victory since a career threatening incident on a training ride in 2016, when the German and five of his then Giant-Alpecin team-mates were hit by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.

The incident nearly saw Degenkolb, the 2015 winner of Paris-Roubaix, lose a finger.

“I’ve waited for this victory for so long,” said Degenkolb, after his maiden stage win at the race.

“A lot of people didn’t believe in me anymore and thought I wouldn’t come back to the same level anymore.

“I knew I could sprint against these guys.

“The breakaway was kind of a déjà vu at Paris-Roubaix three years ago.

“It increased my confidence for the sprint."

Richie Porte was forced to abandon after a crash saw him suffer a broken collarbone ©Getty Images
Richie Porte was forced to abandon after a crash saw him suffer a broken collarbone ©Getty Images

Degenkolb’s victory came at the end of a crash strewn stage, which lived up to expectations of being a key one for general classification contenders.

The stage ended Porte’s hopes, with the BMC Racing man suffering a broken collarbone in a crash after just seven kilometres.

It was another unfortunate moment for the Australian, who was stretchered away from last year’s race in a high speed crash, which saw him fracture his pelvis and collarbone.

There were also crashes for Britain’s defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky, Movistar’s Spanish rider Mikel Landa and Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran, who rides for EF Education First.

The latter would prove to be the most impacted of the three, as he crossed the line 1:28 behind a large group of general classification contenders, including Froome, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.

The main group would cross 27 seconds behind the winners, with Landa and France hope Romain Bardet ending seven seconds back.

It was an impressive performance from Bardet to limit his losses, given the AG2R La Mondiale rider suffered three punctures during the stage.

Crashes were common on a dramatic cobbled stage ©Getty Images
Crashes were common on a dramatic cobbled stage ©Getty Images

Despite missing out on the stage victory, Van Avermaet had the consolation of extending his lead in the general classification to 43 seconds to second place Geraint Thomas.

Thomas, who rides for Team Sky, could potentially emerge as a contender to win the Grand Tour.

He is currently the highest placed of the general classification hopefuls as the race heads to its first rest day.

Alejandro Valverde of Spain is next best placed at 1:31 off the race lead, with Froome, Britain’s Adam Yates and Landa a further 11 seconds back.

Nibali also appears dangerously poised at 1:48 off the race lead, while The Netherlands' Tom Dumoulin, Bardet, Quintana and Uran are all over two minutes off the yellow jersey.