Colombian Rigoberto Uran won a dramatic photo finish with Sunweb rider Warren Barguil, on stage Nine of the Tour De France.
In a race packed with incident and drama, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas crashed, suffering a fractured collar bone, ruling the Welshman out for the rest of the tour, before Richie Porte was involved in an horrific crash on the perilous descent into the finish line into Chambéry late on.
Leader Chris Froome finished third and retains his yellow jersey by over a minute and thirty-five seconds.
Pre-stage, the 181 km between Nantua and Chambery were billed as the toughest stage of the three weeks of riding. So it was to prove.
Even before the first of seven gruelling climbs had began, the stage claimed its first two riders as Dutchman Robert Gesink and UAE rider Manuele Mori abandoned.
It was a third of the way into the race, that Team Sky's Geraint Thomas crashed on the road down from Col de la Biche. Even before the peloton and leaders had reached the tougher sections of Mont du Chat in the final stages, the news that Thomas had broken his collarbone came, ruling the Welshman out of the tour.
Porte horrific crash
But these were the mere embers of the fireworks that were set to come. BMC's Richie Porte had been well placed on the treacherous 1,500m descent into Chambery, before the Australian misjudged the racing line and skidded on the inside lane with the grass verge.
Porte slid to the tarmac deck, before colliding with Dan Martin and impacted heavily with the hard rock-face that stood on the outside of the road.
The 32 year-old was immediately given first aid fitted with a neck brace as a precaution, as medics stretchered the rider into an ambulance. Porte was at all times conscious, with early indications the Lauceston rider has escaped serious injury.
Six-way podium battle
Amongst the walking wounded on the course, a six-way battle was developing at the head of the pack.
After Jakob Fuglsang headed to the front, Chris Froome had battled back from a technical issue with his ride to lead the pack of at the summit of Mont du Chat.
As the racers reached the foot of the mountain, Fuglsang, Froome, Warren Barguil, compatriot Romain Bardet, Fabio Aru and Rigoberto Uran - who himself had a faulty chain on his bike - headed for a grandstand finish in front of the thousands that lined the roads.
After much jockeying, Froome, and Fulglsang hit the front but were taken by Bardet and Aru with 500m to go.
With Barguil seemingly destined for popular local win, it was Uran who miraculously shot to the front, taking Barguil on the line.
The Frenchman was initially awarded the win, but following the judges rule on a photo finish, the Cannondale rider had pipped Barguil by millimetres of a tyre length.
The result kept the yellow jersey firmly around the neck of Froome, as Aru, Bardet and Uran sit less than a minute off the Briton's classification lead.
The tour takes a rest day on Monday, ahead of stage 10 on Tuesday.