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Stage 9, Bordeaux to Dax, 169.5km
By Andrew Hood
Sunny in morning, partly cloudy in afternoon, temperatures in high 70s, very humid
Oscar Freire (Rabobank), 3h35:24, 47.214kph – The three-time world champion won his second stage of this year’s Tour in a wild, wide-open sprint into Dax. Freire won in a bike stab against Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto), with Erik Zabel (Milram) taking third in the fastest road stage of the race so far.
Sergei Gontchar, 1,660.1km in 38h14:17, 43.415kph – The Ukraine with an oft-misspelled name had another easy day in the saddle, finishing 32nd safely tucked in the main bunch to retain the maillot jaune. Floyd Landis (Phonak) remained second at 1 minute back.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) widened his lead by six more points to Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic), taking second in the sprint with Boonen coming through fourth. McEwen now leads with 211 to Boonen’s 188, with third-place Freire moving up with 181 points. McEwen can now look to suffer through the Pyrenees knowing his lead will likely go unchallenged for several days.
King of the Mountains
There were no points up for grabs in Tuesday’s flat stage. Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) continues to lead with 28 points to David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Prodir) in second with 17, and Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) third with 15. Pineau will have his work cut out for him to keep the jersey as the peloton pushes into the Pyrenees for two tough climbing stages.
Best Young Rider
Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval-Prodir) was seventh in the stage to win the honors on the day while Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) saw his lead over Thomas Lovkvist (FDJeux) drop from 1:11 to 58 seconds after he lost 13 seconds on the stage when the peloton split coming in for the sprint.
Gerolsteiner was the best team on the day while T-Mobile holds a 3:09 advantage on Phonak.
Most aggressive rider
Christian Knees (Milram) wins after launching the day’s main breakaway and then counter-attacking late as the main bunch closed in.
Sebastian Joly (FDJeux), 170th at 49:30
170 riders, no changes
Jimmy Engoulvent (Credit Agricole) persistent back painSamuel Dumoulin (Ag2r), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), David Lopez Garcia (Euskaltel) and Samuel Plouhinec (Agritubel) – all involved in crash at 156km, minor cuts and scrapes.
Blood tests were carried out on 59 riders from Bouygues Telecom, Rabobank, Phonak, Milram, Liquigas, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Caisse d’Epargne between 7:30-8:30 a.m. None were found “inapt” to race.
- Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) awarded time at 26 seconds from winner and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel) awarded time at 13 seconds from winner after having mechanicals in final 3km of stageVicent Lavenu (Ag2r) 200 Swiss franc fine for not respecting instructions of commissaires
Partly sunny all day, with chance of afternoon thunderstorms on high passes, temperatures 22C at start, 28C at finish, between 20-24C on climbs.