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95th Tour de France - Stage 9 Live
By Staff
Date: 7/13/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 9 Live

95th Tour de France - Stage 9 Live
Into the Pyrenees...  3 riders on the attack with a 10 minute gap

Stage 9 Toulouse - Bagneres de Bigorre 224 km
welcome to the ninth stage in the Tour de France from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre over 224 km. It's the first stage in the Pyrenees; the riders have seven climbs on the menu. After an innocuous first 125 kilometers, the race passes through Luchon and continues up onto the summit of the Col de Peyresourde. The climb is one of the most consistent in this year’s race, with maximum sections of 8% and an average just 0.5% lower. Its descent is a little on the technical side; Jan Ullrich crashed in the 2001 Tour de France after failing to navigate tight corner. Riders have been warned.

The Col d’Aspin lies 26km from the finish into Bagneres-de-Bigorre, which will allow any who is dropped to chase frantically down the descent.

 © Amaury Sport Organization 

The seven climbs are:
42 km: Cat. 4 Côte de Saint-Pey, (1,7 km, average gradient 4,7 %)
46 km: Cat. 4 Côte de Sainte-Quitterie, (1,5 km - 5,7 %)
91 km: Cat. 4 Côte de Mane, (2 km - 5,6 %)
113,5 km: Cat. 4 Col de Buret, (4,6 km - 3,2 %)
123,5 km: Cat. 3 Col des Ares, (6 km - 4,9 %)
166,5 km: Cat. 1 Col de Peyresourde, (13,2 km - 7,1 %)
198 km: Cat 1 - Col d’Aspin, (12,3 km - 6,5 %)

Kim Kirchen started the stage in the leaders jersey and has to defend a 6 second lead on Cadel Evans and Stefan Schumacher at 16 seconds. The rest of the favorites are spread out within 2 minutes easily lost on a day of climbing like today. Current G.C.

The first attack came right from the start. Six riders, including polka dot jersey David De La Fuente (SDV), Freddy Bichot (AGR), Stef Clement (BTL), Gianpaolo Cheula (Barloworld), David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Bjorn Schroder (Milram) attacked but were caught quite fast.

After about 30 km of racing Aleksandr Kuschynski (LIQ), Nicolas Jalabert (AGR) and Sebastian Lang (GST) attacked. At the moment after more than 42 km of racing their gap has risen to almost 10.00. The riders also have done the first intermediate sprint and the first and second climb.

The results:
The points for the first sprint in Saint Suplice Sur Leze were won by: Liquigas' Aleksandr Kuschynski - 6pts, Agrutubel's Nicolas Jalabert - 4pts, and Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang - 2pts.

The result on the top of the Cote de Mane (91 km): 1. Lang - 3 pts, 2. Jalabert - 2 pts, 3. Kuschynski - 1point. Over the summit of the  Mane the gap of the three in front is 10'55" on the bunch.

120 km to go in the race. The gap still 10.50. The weather is dry so far, that's an advantage. Still four climbs to go, in about 40 km they will start with the Peyresourde. Then we definitely will see some action. The three leaders are working well together but it will be hard to stay in front as the three are not climbers.

1359 CEST - Senouagnet, 111 km. Nicolas Jalabert wins the second intermediate sprint ahead of Kuschynski and Lang. Of course they didn't sprint for it, but they divided the prizes flying through the sprint in team time trial formation.

Over the top of the Cat. 4 Col de Buret Lang takes the points again ahead of Kyschynski and Jalabert. Lang is collecting all the points for the KOM ranking, but he is no threat to De La Fuente at this point to take over the KOM jersey. If Lang can survive the Peyresourde he will come close. De La Fuente has 34 points. Lang has 10 points so far according to my calculations.

There was a crash in the bunch as Gorka Verdugo and some others missed a turn, no damage as everyone looks to continue. Cadel Evans crashed too, he appears to be hurting at his elbow, back and knee but is back in the bunch; we will see on the climbs if this has serious consequences for him.

They lead trio is now on the category 3 Col des Ares. It wasn't a good sign as Evans yelled to Vansevenant that he was going too fast leading him back to the peloton. Evans could be seriously hurt. His racing kit is totally damaged. Evans is brought back to the bunch; we will see on the Peyresourde if it has consequences for him.

1412 CEST - the gap down to 10'42" - 2 km to the top of the Col des Ares for our three adventurers. They are now on the summit of Col des Ares. Lang takes the max points again ahead of Kuschynski and Jalabert. 100 km to go and the gap still 10.50.

1424 CEST  - The gap is down to 10.30 with the orange warriors of Euskaltel leading the peloton. Evans has grimace on his face of pain, he's riding well in spite of the fall. Cadel has some patches of road rash and bleeding on his knee and elbow, the back of his jersey is shredded. High road has three riders in the slipstream of Euskaltel as they lead the chase. Lang is over 22 minutes down on Kirchen so there is no need for Columbia to waste their energies chasing.

We have about 20 km through the valley to Luchon and the arrival at the foot of the Peyresourde. I think we will get some action from one of the orange warriors there. The gap falls to 10:15.

1434 CEST - 90 km to go. Two French riders in the chase now. It's stage winner Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) and a rider of Agritubel. I was beginning to wonder when the French cavalry would weigh in today. The Agritubel rider is the former yellow jersey and break companion of Dumoulin in that successful stage with Romain Feillu. The gap comes down to 10.00.

Tour of Austria update: The final stage was just won by Tom Boonen. Thomas Rohregger is the final winner of the race.

Dumoulin and Feillu are about to get caught by the bunch, the adventure is over for the dynamic duo.

1448 CEST - 80 km to go,  the gap falls to 9:55. Evans is now at the doctor, the famous Gerard Porte. The head of the medical team in the Tour. Evans is being supported by the doctor as he leans out from the car, attending to Cadel's wounds. We are nearing the climb of the Peyresourde.

9.50 the gap The break is almost on the early slopes of the Peyresourde. The break has started the climb of Peyresourde. The climb is about 13 km long and has an average of 7,1 %. Let see what the guys in the bunch will do up here.

70 km to go, The gap is down to 9.30 as Liquigas and Caisse D'Epargne come to the front too, The bunch is on the Peyresourde as well now. Dr Gerard Porte has just told France Television that the wounds he has just dressed on Cadel Evans are not deep; but the rider expressed his concern during his on the road visit. The Tour’s doctor believes that he might be hindered a little on the upcoming climbs but the injuries do not appear to be too nasty. La Francaise des Jeux in the lead of the bunch now. But for who? Casar or Di Gregorio?

The gap down to 9.10 for Lang, Jalabert and Kuschynski. Some riders are dropped off the back of the bunch now. The gruppeto is starting to form. The gap is coming down very fast 8.40.

9 km to the top of the Peyresourde. Lots of riders are dropping off the back. The gruppetto continues to add riders. Yesterday's winner Cavendish is in the final group, along with Silence Lotto's Robbie McEwen.

The bunch is about 60 riders strong I estimate. The orange boys of Euskaltel and Rabobank in front of the peloton followed by Alejandro Valverde who has been already isolated. No team mates in the neighborhood. Maybe Pereiro but he is sitting further back in the bunch.

Our live coverage continues in Stage 9 Live Part 2

Remaining climbs:
166,5 km: Cat. 1 Col de Peyresourde, (13,2 km - 7,1 %)
198 km: Cat 1 - Col d’Aspin, (12,3 km - 6,5 %)

Stage 9 Profile

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