Monday July 9th, 2012

Stage 9Arc-et-Senans / Besançon

Start 09h45 GMT 2+

Key moments

video09.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race

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Summary of the race

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Stage summary09.07.2012 in 18:32Wiggins: I knew from the first pedal rev that I was on it

© A.S.O.

Bradley Wiggins is getting used to the podium. He's collected three yellow jerseys now but in Besançon he picked up his first stage win in the Tour de France and increased his lead by a significant margin. Afterwards he was clearly chuffed that all his teams plans are coming to fruition.

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Stage summary09.07.2012 in 17:44Sky's time: Wiggins win his first Tour stage

The assumption was that Bradley Wiggins would gain time on his rivals in the battle for overall honours in the 99th Tour de France but there was still a question about who might win the stage. If you doubted the dominance of the Sky team in 2012 then look at the figures from the time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon in stage nine: Wiggins confirmed that his quest for the yellow jersey is a genuine one. He claimed his first stage victory in the Tour, beat his team-mate Chris Froome by...

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video09.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner

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Interview - Stage Winner

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interview09.07.2012 in 18:12Van Garderen: I still believe Cadel is going to be in yellow in Paris...

He was fourth in the time trial of stage nine and regained the lead of the youth classification but Tejay van Garderen still has one thing on his mind: helping his team-mate win the yellow jersey.

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video09.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage

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Analysis of the stage

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Sporting stakes09.07.2012 in 11:00Terrain for attacks

The scene is set and with a domination by Bradley Wiggins in the solitary discipline of the time trial, when the race leader won his first stage of the Tour de France and increased his lead in the general classification. He's followed his plan to perfection. And, despite all this, there are riders who still stand ready to take up the battle on the roads of the Tour de France. Several have been eliminated from the equation but there are still several willing to push Wiggins all the way to...

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video09.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route

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The day's route

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Newsflashes

17:35The new top five of general classification

Bradley Wiggins has increased his lead in the general classification. The top five after over 1,600km of racing in the 99th Tour is:

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY

2. CadeL Evans (AUS) BMC at 1'53"

3. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 2'07"

4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 2'23"

5. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 3'02"

17:33The top five in stage nine

The top five of the stage from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon is:

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY - 41.5km in 51'24" (48.4km/h)

2. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 35"

3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) RNT at 57"

4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1'06"

5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) OPQ at 1'24"

17:3151'24" - That's what it takes to win the stage! Bravo Bradley

Bradley Wiggins has increased his lead in the general classification. He has also won his first stage of the Tour de France. He covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 48.4km/h. The now leads Cadel Evans by 1'53" and his team-mate Froome by 2'07".

17:30Evans 5th best: 1'07" behind Froome

Sky is going to win the stage... but the question is: will it be Chris Froome or Bradley Wiggins? The likely answer is that Wiggins will claim his first stage win in the Tour today but he's got about 700 metres to go before that's confirmed.

17:28Here comes Cadel... 1km to go

Evans is 13th best at the first check, sixth best at the second check and he's now inside the final kilometre. He's going to lose considerable time to Wiggins today and we'll know just how much in the next couple of minutes...

17:27Nibali: 6th best...

With two men yet to reach the finish, Nibali has the sixth best time. He is 1'32" slower than Froome.

17:26Nibali inside final kilometre

Nibali has the 10th best time at the 31.5km mark and he is now inside the final kilometre of the stage. He started the day ranked third overall, 16" behind Wiggins but that deficit is going to grow signifcantly in Besançon.

17:24Menchov: 6th at the finish

When he went past the second check, Menchov (KAT) was ninth. At the finish, the Russian TT champion has posted the sixth best time of the day with three men yet to reach the end of their time trials.

17:1956-tooth front chainring for Wiggins

The rider in the yellow jersey is using a 56 tooth chainring for the time trial today. He has churned that gear to set a time that's 16" faster than anyone else.

The top five at the 31.5km mark is:

1. Wiggins

2. Froome at 16"

3. van Garderen at 36"

4. Cancellara at 38"

5. Chavanel at 1'04"

17:18Evans picks up the pace: now 5th!

He was 13th at the first check but now Cadel Evans is in fifth place for the stage. He was 1'03" slower than Froome over 31.5km. Ahead of the defending Tour champion are: Froome, his team-mate van Garderen, Cancellara and Chavanel.

17:17New best time: Froome into first

Chris Froome has ridden the 41.5km course at an average speed of 47.9km/h. He covered the course in 51 minutes, 59.59 seconds and leads Cancellara by 22".

17:1315km to go for Wiggins...

Wiggins is 1'20" ahead of Evans with 15km to go in the stage.

17:12Menchov: 9th at 31.5km

The rider in fourth overall at the start of the day, Denis Menchov (KAT) has the ninth best time at the second check. He is 1'15" behind Froome at the 31.5km mark.

17:10Zubeldia 9th best at 31.5km

There are now four RadioShack-Nissan riders in the top nine at the second check: Zubeldia in 9th (at 1'16 to Froome), Klöden in 7th (at 1'10"), Monfort in 6th (at 1'07"), and Cancellara in 3rd (at 22").

17:07Froome leads by 20"

At the 31.5km mark, Froome's time is 20" better than the previous best, van Garderen (BMC).

17:06Wiggins on track for first Tour stage win

Before today, the best place that Wiggins has been in a stage of the Tour de France was second – that was the team time trial of the 2009 Tour when he was part of the Garmin team. The Brit has the best time at the first check so we can start believing that he may well win his first stage of the Tour today.
He made his debut in the race in 2006 when his best result was 16th in the prologue.
In 2007 he was fourth in the London prologue and fifth in the time trial around Albi in...

17:01Wiggins: 16.5km - 46.9km/h.

The fastest time for the first 16.5km is 21'05" set by Bradley Wiggins. He is 5" better than his team-mate Froome and the top five at the first check is:

1. Wiggins

2. Froome at 5"

3. van Garderen at 32"

4. Cancellara at 34"

5. Chavanel at 39"

16:59Evans: 12th best at first check

It seems unlikely that Evans is going to win the stage today. He was second in the penultimate stage last year (6" behind Tony Martin in the Grenoble TT) but at the 16.5km mark he is already 57" behind Froome's time.

16:55Nibali 52" behind Froome at 16.5km

The rider ranked third overall after eight stages, Nibali (LIQ) has posted the 10th best time at the 16.5km mark. He is already 52" behind the standard set by Froome.

16:48Wiggins 20" ahead of Evans...

Radio Tour has just announced that Wiggins is 20" ahead of Evans with 30km to go in the stage.

16:46Boom, zoom... Froome!

Froome has taken 23.41 seconds off the time set by van Garderen at the first check, that's 16.5km - much of it uphill - at an average speed of 46.8km/h!

16:44Van Garderen: 9" behind Cancellara

He has the best times at the two intermediate but Tejay van Garderen has finished the stage with the second best time of the day so far: he is 9" behind Cancellara after 41.5km and 19" ahead of Chavanel (OPQ).

16:41Van Garderen inside final 2km

Tejay van Garderen is chasing the best time of the day. He was first at the 16.5km and 31.5km checks - but only just. In less than two minutes we'll know if he's able to eclipse the time of Cancellara.

16:40Wiggins sets off!

The yellow jersey is now racing. Wiggins has an energy gel tucked into his knicks (on the left leg) and he too has a rear disc wheel.

16:38Rear disc wheel for Evans

Many riders are opting for a disc wheel for today's race. Evans is now racing and he too has gone with the full aerodynamic package: a BMC bike with integrated front brakes (ie. part of the fork), deep rim at the front and long sleeve skinsuit...

16:34Nibali racing...

It took just six seconds for Nibali to settle into the saddle after leaving the start house. The Liquigas leader is ranked third overall after eight stages: 16" behind Wiggins. There are just two men yet to start the ninth stage - Evans (BMC) and Wiggins (SKY).

16:32Four from top 10 in the 2004 Besançon TT in today's race

The penultimate stage of the 2004 Tour was held in Besançon. It was a 55km stage and the winner was Lance Armstrong who sealed his sixth title a day after his chastising antics against Filippo Simeoni.

Of the top 10 of that stage, four are still racing today: Klöden (who was 3rd then and is currently ranked 4th at the 31.5km mark), Basso (who was 6th then), Voigt (7th then - currently in 5th at the finish), and Karpets (8th then)...

On that day (24 July) Karpets sealed the...

16:32Van Garderen continues to set the standard!

Van Garderen has beaten the time of Cancellara at 31.5km. The American was 3" behind the Swiss rider at the 16.5km mark and at the second check he is 2" ahead.

16:25Froome sets off

There are now just five me yet to start the stage: Zubeldia (EUS), Menchov (KAT), Nibali (LIQ), Evans (BMC) and Wiggins (SKY).

Froome (SKY) has just started the time trial and, according to David Millar, this is a course that suits a rider of his capablities. In 16.5km we'll know how he compares wtih the others...

16:22Brajkovic into the top five

At the first check, Astana's leader Janez Brajkovic has set the fifth best time: he's 25" behind van Garderen.

16:21Schleck loses 1'23" in 16.5km

Fränk Schleck is past the first time check with the 24th best time. The third-place finisher in the 2011 Tour was 1'24" behind van Garderen's time at the 16.5km mark.

16:17Two teams in the top five

There are riders from two teams in the top five at the moment: RadioShack-Nissan holds down 1st and 5th at the moment (Cancellara and Voigt) while Omega Pharma-Quickstep has 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest times today (Chavanel, Velits and Martin).

16:14Van Garderen beats Cancellara's time

At the first check, the young American from BMC - Tejay van Garderen - has set the fastest time. He is 3" ahead of Cancellara!

16:13Long sleeves for Evans today

Cadel Evans has been shown warming up in his BMC skinsuit. The Australian has opted for long sleeves for the TT. His start time is 4.36pm. He has won two stages of the Tour since making his debut in 2005 - one of them a retrospective prize (following the disqualification of Vinokourov of stage 13 in 2007).

His first stage win was that time trial in Albi.

16:11Klöden: 4th at 16.5km

RadioShack is the only squad other than Sky to lead the team classification at the TOur in 2012. The American team has six riders in the top 19 overall and Andreas Klöden has just set the fourth fastest time at the 16.5km mark. He is 28" behind team-mate Cancellara.

16:08Chavanel sets 2nd best time

At the finish, Chavanel has set the second best time of the day. The French champion was 27" slower than Cancellara and 52" better than his team-mate, Tony Martin.

16:07Rogers in 6th at 31.5km

There are two Sky riders yet to start the stage but we can report that Michael Rogers - who was second overall in the Criterium du Dauphiné this June - has just reached the second time check 1'32" behind Cancellara. That's good enough for sixth at the moment.

16:06Rolland loses 1'40" in 16.5km

At the first time check, the winner of the Tour's youth classification in the 2011 race Pierre Rolland (EUC) has already surrendered 1'40" to Cancellara...

16:00Chavanel 26" behind at 31.5km

The French champion is second fastest at the second check; Chavanel is 26" behind Cancellara and 33" ahead of his team-mate Tony Martin.

15:57Coppel beats Rogers

Jérôme Coppel (SAU) has posted the fourth best time at the 16.5km mark. He is 36" behind Cancellara and 3" ahead of Rogers (SKY).

15:55Fränk Schleck the next to start

Janez Brajkovic (AST) is the latest to leave the start house which means that there are now just 15 men yet to get rolling in today's stage. Fränk Schleck is ranked 15th overall after eight stages. He's the next to get going...

15:49Rogers matches Martin's time

At the 16.5km mark, the triple world champion (from 2003, 2004 and 2005), Michael Rogers, has posted a time that's only 0.07 seconds slower than his one-time team-mate Tony Martin. The Australian is the fourth fastest at the first check.

15:48Cancellara heading back to the podium?

Fabian Cancellara has the fastest time of the day but is it enough to take the win? He is 1'19" faster than Martin and has covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 47.6km/h (versus 45.8km/h for Martin).

There are 35 men yet to reach the finish... and some of them haven't yet started.

The odds-on favourite for the win today is Wiggins who starts his race at 4.39pm.

15:44Velits at the 1st check

The Slovakian TT champion, Peter Velits has reached the 16.5km check with a time of 21'50" - the third fastest of the day. The new top five at Abbans-Dessus is:

1. Cancellara - 16.5km in 21'37"

2. Chavanel at 7"

3. Velits at 13"

4. Martin at 39"

5. Voigt at 46"

That's three men from one team in second, third, and fourth...

15:4020 men yet to start

Leipheimer (OPQ) has just set off in the time trial. He's won one stage of the Tour and that was the final TT of the 2007 race when he was third overall. There are now 20 riders yet to start the stage.

15:37Chavanel 2nd at 16.5km

At the first check, Chavanel has the second best time of the day. He is 6.88 seconds behind the time set by Cancellara and his average speed was 45.5km/h.

15:35Coppel sets off...

The leader of Saur-Sojasun has one of the most extreme positions for the time trial: the top of his aero handlebars are 42.5cm from the axle of his front wheel. Measure that against your bike and you'll realise that it's low! Consider the fact that he's 178cm tall and you realise that he's leaning down a long way.

15:35Cancellara 1'09" ahead of Martin

At the 31.5km mark, Cancellara's time is 39'40" - that's 1'09" faster than Tony Martin.

15:31Casar catches Sagan...

Sandy Casar may have lost time time between the first and second time checks, but the Frenchman is riding the time trial of his life: he's just caught his three minute man Peter Sagain.

15:28Casar slows down a little

Casar has the third best time at the 16.5km mark but he's lost a bit of ground before reaching the 31.5km mark. Casar was 7" behind Martin at the first check, and at the second he's in seventh place - 32" behind Martin.

15:26Cancellara catches Mollema

Bauke Mollema started three minutes ahead of Cancellara and the Swiss rider has just raced past the Dutchman.

15:25Martin's puncture cost about 30"

The rider who has the second best time at 16.5km (behind Cancellara) is Tony Martin. He punctured before the first check today and Laurent Jalabert - who is now a commentator for FranceTV - said that the flat tyre cost him about half a minute. The German has the best time of the day at the 31.5km mark and the finish... but Cancellara is yet to arrive at the 31.5km mark.

15:22Thomas Voeckler: The non-specialist are penalised less...

“It's rough, but that was expected,” said Voeckler at the finish. “It is a beautiful course. Non-specialists are penalised less because there are lots of rhythm changes. This can be considered a good sign for Pierre Rolland, because if you compare this stage to the one on the eve of the final stage last year, it's more suitable for him and he will fare better. On the other hand, he is someone who has capacity to recover better than others, and he will be better at the end of the Tour...

15:19Cancellara: 39" ahead of Martin...

Contrary to the previous newsflash, the advantage of Cancellara over Martin was 39" (not 37"). The time of Cancellara is 4'02" faster than the worst time at this stage... that's been posted by Tyler Farrar (GRS).

15:17Cancellara's 16.5km time

At the 16.5km mark, Cancellara has oblitorated the time of Tony Martin. The average speed of the prologue winner at the first check is 45.8km/h. The Swiss rider covered that distance in a time of 21'37" - that's 37" better than the reigning world champion did.

15:14Cancellara out of the saddle on climb...

Cancellara has stood for a few pedal rotations while making his way up the climb leading to the first time check. After rounding a hairpin turn he's settled back down into the aerobars and is now out of the sea of people and speeding towards the 16.5km check.

15:13Chavanel the next to start

The rider who was third in the prologue, Sylvain Chavanel - the French time trial champion of 2012 - is the next to start the stage. He spoke with LeTour.fr earlier today after doing a reconnaissance of the course and said he thought it is a lot harder than what it appears in the roadbook.

15:08Casar beats Voigt's time at 16.5km

At the first time check, the French rider Sandy Casar (FDJ) has posted a time that's second best for the day. He is 7" behind Martin and 1" ahead of Voigt at 16.5km.

15:06Sagan's first time check

At the 16.5km mark, Sagan has set a time of 23'36" - it's an average of 41.9km/h - and 1'20" behind Martin at the same part of the course.

15:02Cancellara speeding towards first time check...

We'll soon find out if the opening stanza of the Tour has slowed down the master of the time trial Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider is near the first intermediate time check and he's been riding in the saddle almost since the start of the 41.5km test. He has a long sleeve jersey on despite the warm conditions (with the temperature over 30 degrees now). There isn't a lot of wind today and the four-time world champion has opted for a rear disc wheel...

14:50Cancellara ready for TT

The four-time TT world champion Fabian Cancellara is only a few minutes from starting. He is due to begin his time trial at 2.54pm. He's six time trials at the Tour, including the prologues of 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012. The only long TT he's won at the Tour was in Pauillac at the end of the 2010 race.

He was second (to Alberto Contador) in the long TT around Lake Annecy in 2009.

14:42Eddy BH not in a hurry today...

If Wiggins is to wear the yellow jersey all the way to Paris, he'll need all the help he can get from his team-mate. Boasson Hagen - fourth in the prologue - has just reached the first time check (16.5km) with a deficit of 1'21" to Tony Martin.

Could we say that he's saving himself...? Probably.

14:39Sagan the next to start...

The rider in the lead of the points classification is the next to start the ninth stage. Peter Sagan is ranked 40th overall. There has been no change in the top 10 at the finish since the arrival of Riblon (ALM). The French rider has been on the attack in stages seven and eight and, for now, he's ranked ninth - 1'41" behind the time set by Tony Martin (OPQ).

14:26Martin fastest despite a puncture

Tony Martin (OPQ) has just given a brief interview with FranceTV and explained that, just like in the prologue, he had a flat tyre during the time trial today. Despite that setback he still has the best time at every check and, at the finish, he's 29" faster than the next-best rider, Jens Voigt.

14:24Vinokourov beats Millar's 16.5km time by one second...

The patron of the Astana team, Alexandre Vinokourov, has reached the first time check with a deficit of just one second on David Millar. The Kazahk is 31" behind the time of Martin which is still the best at the 16.5km mark.

14:19Boasson Hagen racing...

Edvald Boasson Hagen, the Sky rider who was fourth in the prologue, has just started today's stage. He is the 131st starter and they riders are now setting off at three minute intervals.

14:17Polka-dots - fuelled by Kessiacoffee...

Further to the previous post, LeTour.fr has been informed that the new leader of the climbing classification, Frederik Kessiakoff has his own brand of coffee called 'Kessiacoffee'.

14:15A bit of background on the new leader of the climbing classification

Fredrik Keissiakoff is the new leader of the climbing classification. Today is the Swede's first day in the polka-dot jersey of the Tour de France. The 32-year-old was born in Stockholm but, at the time, his family lived in Athens so he grew up there until he was seven. After that he lived both in Stockholm and Germany. He started mountain biking in 1995 and, in 1998 he won a MTB World Cup race. In 2008 he switched to road racing full time and his first race stage race was the Tour de...

14:08Prost to follow Voeckler in an electric car

Today will be the first time in the history of the Tour that an electric car will follow a rider in a time trial. Thomas Voeckler will have the honour of leading it and he has a special guest in the passenger seat: F1 GP legend Alain Prost.

Voeckler is the 127th starter of today's 41.5km time trial.

14:04Gilbert catches two-minute man

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has the seventh best time of the day (55'12") - he caught the rider who started two minutes ahead of him (Jorge Azanza) and is 1'31" behind the time set by Tony Martin.

13:54Grivko: sixth at 1st and 2nd check...

The rider who was 10th in the prologue in Liège, Andriy Grivko (AST) has posted the sixth best time at both 16.5km and 31.5km. He is 28" behind Martin at Avanne-Aveney.

13:52Voigt second at the finish...

Voigt has been second to Martin at every time check... and he's 28" behind at the finish. There are now two men with an average speed faster than 46km/h - and both are Germans.

13:38Voigt 13" behind Martin at 31.5km

Voigt is second at the second check as well... he was 9" behind Martin at 16.5km and at the 31.5km mark, he's only 13" slower than the world champion.

13:35Voigt: in top 10 of five Tour time trials...

Jens Voigt currently has the second best time at the first check. He is the oldest rider in the race and he was on the attack for the first two hours of stage eight yesterday. He is nine second slower than the TT world champion at the 16.5km mark... and could yet muscle his way into the top 10 today.

He made his Tour debut in 1998 and he finished 46th and 64th in the two long time trials (both won by his compatriot Jan Ullrich).

Voigt has finished in the top 10 of five long...

13:20Germans in 1st and 2nd at 16.5km

Jens Voigt (RNT) has posted the second best time at the 16.5km check. The German veteran is nine seconds behind his compatriot, Tony Martin (OPQ).

13:15Roy gets to the finish in third place

Roy (FDJ) has beaten the time of Gustav Larsson. The Frenchman who won the Super Combative classification of the 2011 Tour is now ranked third at the finish, 36" behind the reigning TT world champion.

13:05Roy takes third place...

At the 31.5km mark, one of the attacking riders from yesterday's stage, Jérémy Roy (FDJ) has set the third best time of the day. He is 27" behind Martin at the second time check.

13:04Lelangue to follow Gilbert...

The directeur sportif of the BMC team, John Lelangue, is about to set off in the car behind the Belgian TT champion Philippe Gilbert. The winner of stage one of the Tour in 2011 is ranked 77th overall after 1,57.9km of racing in the 2012 Tour.

Lelangue will also be the man at the microphone for Cadel Evans later today.

Gilbert's start time is 1.07pm.

12:52Martin: 29" better than Westra

The world champion has covered the 41.5km course with an average speed of 46.4km/h. He is 29" ahead of Westra at the finish.

12:51Grabsch started two places ahead of Martin...

Grabsch has set the 10th best time of the day: he is 3'00" behind Westra. The German started the time trial four minutes before his compatriot Martin who has caught his two-minute man (Steve Cummings, BMC) and finished with the best time of the day...

12:49Bert Grabsch the next to finish

There are, in fact, four riders who have won the TT world championships in the Tour's peloton. It was stated earlier on LeTour.fr that there were three... but we forgot to mention the 2008 champion Bert Grabsch (OPQ) who is the next rider due at the finish...

12:39Martin continues his TT display

The world champion has set the new best time at the 31.5km mark. Tony Martin was 13" better than Westra at the first check and, at the second check, he is 23" faster than Larrson.

12:37Zabriskie at the finish

Dave Zabriskie is seventh best in the TT so far. He was the 59th starter and he is 2'05" behind Westra.

12:28Paris-Nice stage winners beaten by last year's Paris-Nice winner

With Tony Martin (OPQ) about to reach the 31.5km mark, we'll track his progress but the German currently holds the best time at 16.5km. He is the title holder from the 2011 edition of Paris-Nice and in second and third for time being are two stage winners from Paris-Nice this March: Larsson (VCD) who took the prologue of the one-week French race earlier this year, and Westra (VCD) who was the winner of the stage to Mende in March.

12:21Martin beats Westra at 16.5km

The world time trial champion has posted the best time at the first check. Tony Martin (OPQ) is 13" better than Westra at the 16.5km mark.

12:18Millar: It's not necessarily a specialist's course...

“I was hoping to go a lot better than I did,” said David Millar after his race today. “I felt terrible out there. The disappointment continues.
“I felt good when [when I woke up] so I'm disappointed with what I did because I had nothing out there. That doesn't happen very often – it's not nice when you feel good but you go bad.”
When asked what the course was like, the Garmin-Sharp rider explained that “it's actually harder than the profile shows. That little climb in...

12:13Millar earns fourth best time...

"It's awful when you wake up feeling okay but then have a bad ride," said David Millar after finishing with what is the fourth best time so far (41.5km in 55'38"). He is being Westra (VCD), Larsson (VCD) and Sanchez (RAB). Millar was the 44th starter today.

11:58Westra beats Larsson's time

Lieuwe 'The Beast' Westra has beaten the time of his team-mate. The Dutch champion was 10" faster than the Swedish champion. The fastest average speed so far is 46.0km/h.

11:56Over an hour for Cavendish today

Mark Cavendish is 5'48" slower than Larsson in the time trial today. His time was 1h00'07". So far 37 riders have finished the stage.

11:49Sebastian Langeveld: There are some nasty parts

LeTour.fr spoke with Orica-GreenEdge's Sebastian Langeveld after he finished his time trial and got his thoughts on the course. “It's not too windy out there today but it's pretty hard – it's up and down, with some technical parts and I think it's a perfect time trial for Wiggins, Cancellara... and the normal names for these sort of time trials.”
It's been suggested that this is a flat day, is that how it felt? “It's isn't flat. There are some nasty parts... it's actually pretty...

11:45Westra beats Larsson at 16.5km

The third starter from Vacansoleil was Lieuwe Westra. He has reached the first intermediate check (16.5km) and set a time that's one second faster than his team-mate Gustav Larsson but at the second check (31.5km) the Dutchman is 10" behind the Swede.

11:30Gallopin: Fabian should be able to keep his form...

“A week in yellow is much more exhausting for the workers that it is for the leader,” said Alain Gallopin when he spoke with LeTour.fr earlier today. We asked the directeur sportif about the chances of success for Fabian Cancellara in the time trial today. “Fabian remained protected throughout this week,” continued Gallpin, “and yesterday, he was able to preserve energy in contrast to Bradley Wiggins, who had to work hard to keep his position [at the top of the general...

11:26Holm hopes for a good result for Martin...

LeTour.fr asked Holm about the rumours that Martin is considering leaving the Tour after today's time trial and the Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider wanted to say that this is not going to be the case but he isn't exactly sure. “Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, we don't yet know. I know I would like him to stay – you know how it is, I would never like any bike rider to have to leave the Tour de France. But I'd also not like a rider to have to do the race with a broken hand. It is the...

11:23Time cut in TT stages

According to the rule book of the Tour de France (coefficient 6, of article 22 - "permitted finishing times"): "The permitted finishing time is calculated according to the best time plus 25%."

11:16Sanchez finishes 14" behind Larsson

The Spanish TT champion, Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB) has the second best time of the day so far. He was 13.92 seconds slower over the 41.5km course that the Swedish champion Gustav Larsson.

11:13Millar has started his TT

David Millar (GRS) has a start time of 11.11am. He is the 44th rider to begin the time trial. LeTour.fr spoke with Garmin-Sharp DS Allan Peiper before the stage and asked what we could expect of the two Daves - Millar and Zabriskie - in today's race. Both have won time trials at the Tour in the past but Peiper recognised that "the GC guys Wiggins and Evans are on a different level".

"If the guys [Zabriskie and Millar] can get in the top 10 that could be a good result for us,"...

11:10Holm comments on Tony Martin's form...

LeTour.fr contacted the directeur sportif of Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Brian Holm, this morning and asked how he expected the TT world champion to go in today's stage. Tony Martin crashed in stage one and broke a bone in his left hand but he's still in the race and he'll start the time trial of stage nine at 11.57am.

“We're just on the course now,” said Holm at 9.35am, “and we have 15km to go. We're going to give it a try. He broke his hand but it hasn't gotten any worse and so...

11:09Sanchez chasing Larsson's time...

Luis Leon Sanchez might be riding with an injured wrist but the Spaniard is close to the best time at both the 16.5km and 31.5km - the Rabobank rider was 2" slower than Larsson at the first check and 3" behind at the second check...

11:05Larsson's average: 45.8km/h

Larsson has set the early standard: the Swedish TT champion covered the 41.5km course at an average speed of 45.8km/h. He is 3'14" better than the next best, Brice Feillu (SAU). Jimmy Engouvent risks being eliminated by being outside the time limit today, the Frenchman has the slowest time so far and it's 8'15" behind Larsson...

11:00Larsson the best so far at 31.5km

So far 15 riders have go past the second time check. The Swedish TT specialist, Gustav Larsson (VCD) has the best time of the day so far at the 31.5km mark: 41'12" - that's 2'06" better than the second rider in the rankings at the moment, Cyril Lemoine (SAU)... and 4'56" better than Farrar.

10:52Comments from Chavanel

"This is a tough course," said Sylvain Chavanel when he spoke with LeTour.fr just after doing the reconnaissance of the 41.5km TT earlier today. "It's a lot harder than it appears on paper."

The French time trial champion was third in the prologue and he's currently ranked 29th overall (6'54" behind Wiggins). "I've attacked a few times in the first week but I'm still feeling okay," he said. "I'd be glad with a place in the top 10 today.

"It looks like a relatively flat profile...

10:48Farrar: 2'45" behind Feillu

The second starter today, Farrar (GRS), has taken over an hour to finish the 41.5km stage. His average was 41.3km/h... and he is 2'45" behind Feillu (SAU).

10:46Prize classification review: part 04 ?? white jersey

The riders who finished first and second in stage eight, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Tony Gallopin (RNT) and have moved up the overall rankings and are now placed second and third in the youth classification. This is still led by the Estonian at the Cofidis team, Rein Taaramae. He is 46” ahead of Gallopin and 1'14” better than the winner of the stage to Porrentruy, Pinot.
The former wearer of the white jersey, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) is ranked fourth, 1'41 behind Taaramae.

10:43Feillu at the finish

The first to start the time trial, Brice Feillu (SAU) has posted a time of 57'33" for the 41.5km stage. His average speed was 43.3km/h.

10:413'09" between first and 14th at 16.5km

Larsson's time is 3'09" faster than Farrar at the first intermediate check. So far 14 men have reached the 16.5km mark and the Swedish Vacansoleil rider has the best time to date: 22'30".

10:38Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

Frederik Kessiakoff (AST) is the third man to wear the polka-dot jersey in the 99th Tour de France. He was one of many who went on the attack in the stage to Switzerland and although he missed out on the stage which he believed might have been within reach (and finished 12th in the eighth stage) he got a good consolation prize – the lead in the climbing classification. He has 21 points, one more than the winner of stage seven, Chris Froome (SKY) and three more than the defending champion...

10:34Larsson beats Feillu's time

The 13th rider to start the time trial was Gustav Larsson (VCD). He was the winner of the prologue of Paris-Nice earlier this year and his time at the 16.5km mark is 57" better than Feillu.

10:32Prize classification review: part 02 ?? green jersey

None of the riders in the top order of the points classification added to their tally in stage eight. Peter Sagan (LIQ) still leads Matt Goss (OGE) 217 points to 185. André Greipel (LTB) has won two stages and is ranked third with 172 points and the winner of stage two, Mark Cavendish (SKY) is fourth with 129 points.


There are points for the first 15 in today's stage and they allocation for a time trial in the Tour is as follows: 1st = 20pts; 2nd = 17; 3rd = 15; 4th = 13; 5th =...

10:24Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

This is the second day of Bradley Wiggins' career that he has worn the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. He has a lead of 10” over Cadel Evans while Vincenzo Nibali is ranked third overall at 16”. These three have been tipped by many time to be among the fastest for the time trial today but there are also three riders who have won the TT world championships in the peloton. Tony Martin is the first of these to start the stage today: he will wear the rainbow jersey and start his race at...

10:16Four past the 16.5km mark...

Feillu has the best time out of the four who have reached the first intermediate check. The winner of the stage to Arcarlis in the 2009 Tour has been suffering stomach problems during the first week and he is ranked last on GC - 1h11'39" behind Wiggins - but his time at the first check of the TT is 15" better than Timmer (ARG), 36" faster than Engoulvent (SAU) and a massive 2'12" better than Tyler Farrar (GRS).

10:13Two intermediate time checks

There are two intermediate time checks for the 41.5km stage today. Feillu is the only rider to post a time at Abbans-Dessus (16.5km) and the man in last place on GC has covered the first stanza of the TT in 23'27". The second check is in Avanne-Avenay at 31.5km.

09:45Riders about to start the time trial

Feillu's start time is only a minute away. The Saur-Sojasun rider will be followed by the winner of stage three of the 2011 Tour, Tyler Farrar (at 9.47am), then team-mate Jimmy Engoulvent.

09:35Welcome to the live coverage of stage nine of the 2012 Tour

Monday, 9 July 2012: the day of the first long time trial of the 99th Tour de France. The first rider to begin the 41.5km race from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon is Brice Feillu (SAU) at 9.45am. The starting order is in reverse of the position on general classification after eight stages. The first 118 riders will start two minutes apart and, from 1.42pm onwards there will be three minutes between the starters.

The weather is fine and the temperature is about 24 degrees Celsius early...

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Jersey wearers after the stage 9

Classifications after the stage 9

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