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Tour de France

Stage 9 – By the numbers

Stage 9, Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 224km WeatherMostly cloudy, moderate westerly, northwesterly winds up to 15kph, temperatures in the 60s

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By Andrew Hood

Stage 9, Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 224km

Weather
Mostly cloudy, moderate westerly, northwesterly winds up to 15kph, temperatures in the 60s

Stage winner
Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) attacked with about 4km from the summit of the Col d’Aspin to win for the second time in a week. The self-styled Cobra reeled in Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), the last man standing of a three-man breakaway, and soloed home victory 1:04 ahead of Vladimir Efimkin, with Cyril Dessel leading the GC contenders across the line at 1:17 back to make it a 2-3 for Ag2r-La Mondiale. “I didn’t come here for the GC, so I will take it day to day. Tomorrow is a different scenario and I will work to try to push (Leonardo) Piepoli to victory,” Riccò said.

Yellow jersey
Kim Kirchen (Columbia) retained the overall jersey for the fourth day, but it wasn’t easy. He admitted he wasn’t at his best over the day’s two first category climbs and limped across the line 12th without sprinting for the green jersey points. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) remains second overall at six seconds back despite crashing heavily at 106km. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) slots into third at 44 seconds back after Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) slipped from third to fourth at 56 seconds. “If I want to keep the jersey tomorrow, I’ll have to have better legs than I did today. I hope today was my bad day,” Kirchen said.

Green jersey
Kirchen reclaimed the green jersey from overnight leader Oscar Freire (Rabobank), who went pointless on the stage. Kirchen scored four points at the line with 12th, enough to put him back at green, 123-119 ahead of Freire. Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) is third with 105 points.

King of the Mountains David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) had to work hard to defend his polka-dot jersey. An early breakaway attempt was scuttled, but he later took fourth-place points over both of the day’s first category climbs. The attacking Lang took points on all seven of the day’s climbs to move into second, 61-57, behind De la Fuente. Riccò slotted into third with 50 points after leading over the Aspin.

Most aggressive rider Lang helped drive the winning break of the Cat. 4 Cote de Saint-Pey at 42km and was only caught by Riccò near the summit of the Aspin.

Best Young Rider
Riccò won on the day, while Andy Schleck (CSC-Saxo Bank) moved ahead after overnight leader Thomas Lovkvist (Columbia) struggled over the Aspin. Schleck now leads Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) by nine seconds with Roman Kreuzinger (Liquigas) third at 22 seconds back. Lovkvist sank to sixth at 4:33 back.

Best team
Saunier Duval-Scott won the stage and Team CSC-Saxo Bank tightened its grip on the category, moving 3:29 ahead of Caisse d’Epargne.

Top American
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) finished 20th at 1:17 back with the main GC riders and moved up from fourth to third overall at 44 seconds back.

Lanterne Rouge
Jimmy Casper (Agritubel) was last at 31:23 back. Wim Vansevenant (Silence-Lotto) remains last at 1h25:48 back.

The peloton
No changes; 170 riders remain

Medical report
?Evans (Silence-Lotto), crash at 106km, cuts and abrasions to back, left shoulder, elbow, hip and knee
?Verdugo (Caisse d’Epargne), crash at 106km, cuts and scrapes to elbow, knee and shoulder
?Eisel (Columbia), crash at 106km, cuts to left knee
?Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne), persistent cramps and pain in right calf
?LL Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne); Marzano (Lampre); Lequatre (Ag2r); Frischkorn (Garmin-Chipotle) – all digestive troubles; Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), left knee pain

Jury report
?Martinez (Euskaltel), fined 30 euros, 5 points penalty, 10-second time penalty, illegal push by car
?Hoste (Silence-Lotto), Weening (Rabobank), 30 euro fines for illegal feed
?Silence-Lotto and Rabobank sport directors fined 120 euros for feeds;

Forecast for Monday
Partly sunny in the morning, light northerly breezes 10kph, highs in 50s at summits
Compiled by Andrew Hood