• John Degenkolb celebrates after winning the ninth stage of the 2018 Tour de France in Roubaix (Getty)Source: Getty
Check out some of the best moments of week two of the 2018 Tour de France - some tough, some joyous, and some on the lighter side, but all of them memorable.
Cycling Central

20 Jul 2018 - 10:54 AM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2018 - 5:57 PM

Richie Porte crashes out 

Let's get the hardest one out of the way first and it's one we would rather forget. It was like we were watching a replay of last year's Tour where Porte also crashed out on Stage 9, the only difference was last year he crashed out on a descent and not just after the neutralised zone. 

Porte crashes out of Tour de France
Australian Richie Porte has pulled out of the Tour de France after breaking his collarbone in a crash 10 kilometres into the 156.5 kilometre Stage 9.

But like Arnie, he'll be back. 

A pretty cool chopper formation 

We spotted this pretty cool sight during stage 8. 

John Degenkolb's fairytale - Stage 9

Three years ago, Degenkolb's career soared with his victories in two of the sport's biggest Monuments - Milan San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in the one year (2015). That's the classics rider's version of winning two grand tours in a year.

Just under 12 months later, he and several team mates nearly lost their lives when a driver from the UK drove on the wrong side and smashed into them while out training in Spain. He's been fighting back ever since - always near or thereabouts but only picking up a couple of minor wins since the accident. 

Snagging a victory on the cobbles at the Tour de France is a massive deal for any classics rider, but this was also a fairytale ending for the German - and also his first Tour stage win. 

Shut up, you're crying. 


Degenkolb's fairytale
It was fitting John Degenkolb won over the cobbles in Stage 9 of the Tour de France, as no one in the peloton has endured a rockier road over the last few years.

The thrilling finish to La Course 

Mitchelton-Scott's Annemiek van Vleuten produced the unlikeliest of comebacks in the finale of the 118 kilometre La Course, overcoming Anna van der Breggen with 20 metres left in the race.

The Mitchelton–Scott leader chased van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) for 15km after being dropped in the final push to the top of the Col de la Colombière.

The pair are two of the best riders in the women's peloton. This was epic. 

Van Vleuten takes a dramatic La Course victory
Fresh off a victory at the Giro Rosa, Annemiek van Vleuten won La Course for the second time in her career, pipping Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen on the line.

MTB guy - or was it ET? 

ICYMI, yes this really happened during Stage 10 of the Tour. 

The mountain biker is Alexis Bosson and he posted it from various angles. 

His helmet cam:

And this from the other side:

Bosson has tried and succeeded this feat before, at the 2013 Tour de France. 


Renaissance re-enactment and epic field art installation

After the mountain biker light-heartedness, Stage 10 of the Tour took a more poignant turn.

As the peloton hit the Plateau des Glières, we saw a beautiful tribute to the French Resistance of World War 2. The mountainous area was an important site for the Maquis group of resistance fighters led by Lieutentan Tom Morel. In January 1944, the plateau was chosen to accept British parachute drops of arms to supply the local resistance then as a base behind the Germans at the time of the Allied landings. 

The territory was cut off, poorly accessible by road but identifiable by allied aircraft through its proximity to Lake Annecy. In March 1944, some 121 maquisards died here during the Battle of Glières  against almost 5000 soldiers from the Wehrmacht and the Vichy. 

Ah, the Tour. *Sniff*

The re-enactment:

The epic field art installation:

Brave - or stupid - ravine tightrope walker

Yep. This happened on Stage 11. 

Cav out of the Tour 

Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data team mate Aussie Mark Renshaw and Marcel Kittel (Katusha Alpecin) were all sent packing after failing to make the Stage 11 time cut.

Here's Aussie Renshaw's immediate reaction:

Cav, Renshaw and Kittel out of the Tour
The three sprinters are packing their bags after missing the time cut on Stage 11.

Nibali out of the Tour 

Poor behaviour of the crowds on Alpe d'Huez including Nibali's crash

Vincenzo Nibali looked strong towards the finale on Alpe d'Huez but was felled by a spectator's camera strap. He managed to regroup and finished just 13 seconds behind Stage 12 victor, Thomas, but tests later confirmed a non-displaced fracture of the T10 vertebra and he too has withdrawn.

Nibali out of Tour with fracture after crash with spectator
In the final kilometres, just as the race was in its last throes before the finish, the broadcast cameras came across Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) prostrate on the road next to his bike.

Annemiek van Vleuten joins the crowd at Dutch corner on Alpe d'Huez

It's important to stay hydrated. How. Cool. Is. She?

And if that's not enough, here's some more memories from the opening stages