Monday July 9th, 2012

Stage 9Arc-et-Senans / Besançon

Start 09h45 GMT 2+

Terrain for attacks

Sporting stakes09.07.2012Stage 9- Arc-et-Senans / Besançon

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 Paris. The stage to Bellegarde-en-Valserine provides the perfect setting for an attack, especially on terrain like what is offered on the steep slopes of the Grand Colombier climb. If the Sky team stifled any potential troublemakers in the six kilometres of the rise to La Planches des Belles Filles, imagine what is possible with 17.4km of the first ‘hors categorie' ascent of the 99th Tour.
The climb will sap strength but the descent to the finish is going to put the courage of the riders on display. We've already seen the likes of Jurgen van den Broeck and Cadel Evans pounce ahead on a descent in the finale of the eighth as they made a bid to break Wiggins grip on the overall lead. The Australian has attacked on descents before that this year as well, like in the Criterium du Dauphiné when he also tried to crack Wiggins going to Morzine. Each time, the Brit has had the answer to the problems presented but can he keep doing this time and time again? Going on what's transpired already in 2012, it's highly likely but this is the Tour and anything is possible.

Stage 9 Arc-et-Senans / Arc-et-Senans

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20


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