Sunday July 10th, 2016

Stage 9Vielha Val d'Aran / Andorre Arcalis

Start 12h05 (Local time)

Tom Dumoulin claims his first Tour de France victory

Stage summary10.07.2016Stage 9- Vielha Val d'Aran / Andorre Arcalis

After winning at the Vuelta a España and the Giro d'Italia, Tom Dumoulin claimed his first ever victory at the Tour de France in horrendous conditions as the storm made the race hard and memorable in the last climb of the day after racing in hot conditions. Like Jan Ullrich in 1997 and Brice Feillu in 2009, the Dutchman won in Arcalis where Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey as he kept the situation under control even when the 20-man breakaway had more than ten minutes lead. For the second time in his career (after 2014), Alberto Contador abandoned the Tour de France as sickness was added to his injuries from the first two stages.

Contador willing to strike but he was sick…

 

197 riders started stage 9 the day after Michael Morkov (Katusha) was the first rider to quit the Tour de France. He was soon to be followed by Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) and Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) who started in Vielha despite feeling sick. It was also the case for Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) who had fever in the morning. However, the Spaniard was prompt to counter attack with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Sergio Henao (Sky) behind the first significant attack of the day. Led by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), it became a group of 45 riders but it split up on the way to the Port de la Bonaigua. 19 of them remained in the lead towards the top but Contador wasn't able to hold the pace. Pinot was first atop the first category 1 climb of the day at km 19 while the peloton led by Team Sky was 1.20 adrift.

 

20 riders in the lead, Contador in the team car

 

In the long downhill, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) made it across to the leading group in which Valverde was a problem as Team Sky was chasing down. The gap was 45 seconds at km 53 when Valverde gave up, leaving 20 riders at the front: Winner Anacona, Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Diego Rosa, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Rafal Majka, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-LaMondiale), George Bennett (Lotto-Jumbo), Mathias Frank, Stef Clement, Jérôme Coppel (IAM), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Tom Dumoulin (Giant), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Rui Costa, Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida), Thomas De Gendt, Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Dani Navarro, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis). The peloton was riding slowly with a deficit of six minutes when Contador called it a race at km 81 at 14.24.

 

Dumoulin alone before the climb to Arcalis

 

The advantage grew to 8.10 with 60km to go and 10 minutes 50km before the end (maximum time gap: 10.30 at km 136). Sagan won the intermediate sprint at Andorra-la-Vella to move up in the points classification, only seven points down on Mark Cavendish. With 42km remaining, De Gendt rode away solo, not only to take five points atop the second category climb of La Comella but he forged on until he completely cracked 4km before the summit of the first category col de Beixalis where Pinot increased his virtual lead in the King of the Mountain competition to take the polka dot jersey in the principality. Dumoulin rode away solo with 12km, before the 10km long uphill finale to Arcalis. He made a gap of 50 seconds for himself and maintained a steady pace to fend off Rui Costa and Majka who were chasing him down. The Dutchman stayed up front to take a stage win at each of the three Grand Tours in the region of one year. The fight among the favourites started with 5km to go. Successively, Sergio Henao (Sky), Richie Porte (BMC), Dan Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) and Chris Froome (Sky) sped up. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) remained on Froome's wheel all the way. With Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) finishing with the same time as Froome, the only change in the top three overall was Martin taking the third place over from Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who was racing on home soil in Andorra.

  • Tom Dumoulin claims his first Tour de France victory

    After winning at the Vuelta a España and the Giro d'Italia, Tom Dumoulin claimed his first ever victory at the Tour de France in horrendous conditions as the storm made the race hard and memorable in the last climb of the day after racing in hot conditions. Like Jan Ullrich in 1997 and Brice Feillu in 2009, the Dutchman won in Arcalis where Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey as he kept the situation under control even when the 20-man breakaway had more than ten minutes lead. For...

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Stage 9 Vielha Val d'Aran / Andorre Arcalis

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