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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

90th Tour de France - July 5-27, 2003

Main Page    Stage Profile    Start List    Latest live report (auto-refresh)    Results

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting by Tim Maloney, Chris Henry, and Gabriella Ekström

Stage 9 - Monday July 14: Bourg d'Oisans - Gap, 184.5 km

Complete Live Report

Time conversion guide: GMT = CEST - 2 hrs, AEST = CEST + 8 hrs, EDT = CEST - 6 hrs, PDT = CEST - 9 hrs

Start time: 11:48 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

10:45 CEST    

Welcome to the Cyclingnews coverage of stage 9 of the Tour, brought to you in association with T-Mobile. Today's stage is the third and final Alpine stage in this year's Tour, taking the riders from Bourg d'Oisans to Gap, over 184.5 km. Today is also Quatorze Julliet a.k.a. Bastille Day, so expect the French riders to try everything possible to win (not that they didn't yesterday).

There are four major climbs on offer today, starting with the 25 km long Col du Lautaret (km 36) which is followed by the Col d'Izoard (km86). This is the hardest climb today, measuring 19.4 km at an average of 5.9 percent, rising to an altitude of 2,360m. However its placement in the first half of the stage may mean that it is not decisive for the outcome. Later in the stage there are the Cat. 2 climb of Cote de Saint Apollinaire (km 156) and the Cat. 3 Cote de la Rochette, which comes with only 8 km to go.

The intermediate sprints today are at Embrun (km 137) and Chorges (km 164) so the sprinters will have to get over the two biggest climbs in front if they are to have a chance at the green jersey points.

Climbs today

Kilometre 36.5: Col du Lautaret (25.5 kilometres at 4 percent)
Kilometre 86.5: Col d'Izoard (19.4 kilometres at 5.9 percent)
Kilometre 156: Cote de Saint Apollinaire (6.7 kilometres at 7.4 percent)
Kilometre 176.5 Cote de la Rochette (3.9 kilometres at 6.7 percent)

11:48 CEST    0 km/184.5 km to go
At 11:44, the riders leave Bourg d'Oisans for a short neutral zone before the flag drops at 11:48. The crowds are enormous on France's national day, cheering on French champion Didier Rous, who leads out of the start. Richard Virenque is also on front front row in his polka dot jersey, with Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) and Christophe Moreau making up the rest of the front rank. Lance Armstrong is a little way back, riding next to Beloki.

The start is fairly relaxed, as most riders are a bit tired after yesterday. The Col du Lautaret starts virtually straight away, although it's not a savage climb. Quick.Step will want to keep Virenque in the polka dots, so they'll try and keep it together on the climb.

12:01 CEST    5 km/179.5 km to go
Yuriy Krivtsov (Jean Delatour) has a minor mechanical problem, and waits for his team car. The mechanic fixes it in short order, and the Ukrainian is on his way again.

The peloton is in no hurry however, and is climbing the road to the Lautaret with 10 riders on the front row.

12:07 CEST    6 km/178.5 km to go
The traditional softening up period is over now, as Gerrit Glomser (Saeco) launches the first attack. He gets the company of Maryan Hary (Brioches), David Millar (Cofidis), David Etxebarria (Euskaltel), Virenque (Quick.Step), Azevedo and Serrano (ONCE). This lines out the peloton, and US Postal get to the front and up the tempo.

Robbie McEwen is already being dropped. He could be in for a tough day. Lilian Jegou is with him.

There is some regrouping, until Mercado goes again, taking Millar, Virenque, Etxebarria and a few more with him. It's all happening, with everyone keen to get in the early break. US Postal is chasing a bit harder now.

12:12 CEST    10 km/174.5 km to go
Aerts, Glomser, Voigt, Di Luca, Verbrugghe, Millar, Mercado, Virenque, Azevedo, Karpets, Etxebarria, Hary, Pellizotti are trying to escape the peloton, but are not cooperating well yet.

12:16 CEST    13 km/171.5 km to go
The break numbers 16, and has 30" lead to the peloton, which is strung out in pursuit, with US Postal on the front. The best placed rider in the break looks to be Virenque, who started the day 4'48 behind Armstrong. There's still 25 km to go until the top of the Lautaret.

The chase is strong, and the gap to the leaders is coming back to 15". The peloton is already split into pieces, with around 60 men in the front part.

12:24 CEST    19 km/165.5 km to go
Aerts and Mercado force the pace in the breakaway group, creating a small gap and some more suffering. The USPS chase is brining them back. Just as they do, Millar counter attacks, taking Aerts and Pellizotti with him. Good timing.

Simoni and Botero are in the back of the peloton, and not looking great. Simoni hasn't gotten any good results out of this Tour yet.

The Millar group is caught by USPS and Aerts counter attacks, taking Millar with him yet again.

12:30 CEST    22 km/162.5 km to go
It's clear what the tactics are today: attack! US Postal is trying to ride hard enough to discourage them, and each time they have closed the gap. However, only three Postal riders are left with Armstrong. The rest have been dropped.

Lopez de Munain is now a little way in front, with Di Luca (for the third time). Zampieri, Moncoutie, Lastras and Casero are also there.

Simoni and Botero is actually in the second peloton, which is not in a hurry.

12:35 CEST    25 km/159.5 km to go
Peron (CSC) and Chavanel (Brioches) ride away from the peloton, and several more riders follow them including Bettini. The gap between the leaders and the chasers is 25".

12:40 CEST    25 km/159.5 km to go
The peloton has stopped chasing, as only three Postal riders (Rubiera, Heras and Beltran) are left to help Armstrong. That has given the 6 + 5 leaders more of an advantage, and they are pushing it to the maximum. It's 30" now with 11 km to go until the summit of this long climb.

Flecha and Chaurreau are in pursuit of the 11 leaders

Garzelli has been dropped from the peloton, which has eased its tempo slightly. Armstrong has an extra teammate now. The gap is 55" to the peloton.

12:44 CEST    30 km/154.5 km to go
There is a second peloton closing the gap to the first one, led by Armstrong's dropped team-mates (Landis, Hincapie, Padrnos and Ekimov). The first peloton is only 40 riders, but swells to 60 with the second group joining.

12:49 CEST    32 km/152.5 km to go
Jaksche, McGee (where'd he come from?), Lopez de Munain and Casero are in the lead now, having split the front group. There's no cooperation however between these 11 riders in front. Chaurreau and Flecha are still trying to chase them.

US Postal have eight men now in the front peloton.

12:53 CEST    33 km/151.5 km to go
We've got eight leaders now on the Col du Lautaret: McGee (FDJeux.com), Di Luca (Saeco), Casero and Garmendia (Team Bianchi), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), Jaksche (ONCE), Pellizotti (Alessio), Moncoutie (Cofidis). They have 1'30 to Armstrong's main peloton, with another, bigger peloton with Simoni at 2'50. Baden Cooke is getting dropped from the front group.

Di Luca, McGee and Garmendia have counter attacked the lead group now, and seem to be clear of them.

The best placed rider of the entire break is Jaksche, who started the day 3'19 behind Armstrong. So it's unlikely that US Postal will want to give them too much rope.

12:59 CEST    36 km/148.5 km to go
McGee is obviously on a better day today, having recovered from a bad case of bonk a few days ago. He is together with Di Luca and Garmendia heading to the top of the Col du Lautaret. Behind them is a group with Casero (Bianchi), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), Jaksche (ONCE), Pellizotti (Alessio), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Parra (Kelme), Bettini (Quick.Step) and Zampieri (Vini Caldirola)

Chaurreau, Chavanel and Flecha are still trying to close the gap, but are a minute behind the three leaders. The peloton with Armstrong and co. is at 2'22.

13:05 CEST    37 km/147.5 km to go
Jaksche, Parra and Casero have joined McGee's group at the top of the Lautaret, and have a small lead to the next group of breakaways with Bettini, among others. The yellow jersey peloton is at 2'50.

Just before the summit of the climb, four more riders caught on: Moncoutie, Zampieri, Lopez de Munain and Pellizotti, forming a group of 10 over the top. There are a few others chasing still, including Bettini, Peron, Lastras, Chavanel, Flecha and Chaurreau.

13:16 CEST    50 km/134.5 km to go
The results of the Col du Lautaret: 1. Di Luca (Saeco), 2. Parra (Kelme), 3. Garmendia (Bianchi), 4. Casero (Bianchi), 5. Jaksche (ONCE), 6. Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), 7. McGee (FDJ), 8. Moncoutie (Cofidis), 9. Zampieri (Vini Caldirola), 10. Pellizotti (Alessio).

Chasing them at 45" are Lastras and Peron, while Chaurreau and Flecha are at 54". Bettini and Chavanel are another minute plus behind, while the peloton is at 3'10.

McGee has attacked on the descent, and has a decent gap on his nine breakaway companions. He'll need them though if this break is to succeed today.

13:22 CEST    55 km/129.5 km to go
The peloton is maintain the gap a little on the descent to 3'00, which means Jaksche is close to the virtual Maillot Jaune (he was at 3'19 on GC). The 10 leaders are now back together, after McGee was caught.

It's going to be tough for the chasers to close the gap now, as the front 10 are working well together.

13:32 CEST    62 km/122.5 km to go
The 10 leaders are still cooperating in front of the race, while the two chasing groups behind have merged to form a group of four men: Flecha, Lastras, Peron and Chaurreau. Bettini and Chavanel have been caught by the US Postal led peloton, which is 2'24 behind the leaders.

13:40 CEST    67 km/117.5 km to go
The leaders have regrouped, and we now have 14 in front: McGee (FDJeux.com), Di Luca (Saeco), Garmendia and Casero (Team Bianchi), Jaksche (ONCE), Parra (Kelme), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Zampieri (Vini Caldirola), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), Pellizotti (Alessio), Lastras and Flecha (iBanesto), Peron (CSC) and Chaurreau (Ag2r).

Jaksche, being the best placed on GC, is doing a lot of work to try and keep them in front. However so is US Postal in the peloton, having brought the gap back to 2'30. The ONCE tactics seem to be: put a threatening rider in a break and force US Postal to chase, hopefully tiring them out for the final climbs.

The peloton seems to be quite big again now, over 100 riders.

13:45 CEST    71.5 km/113 km to go
The race is now on the 19.4 km climb of the Col d'Izoard, the biggest climb of today's stage. Jaksche's tempo has dropped several riders from the leading group, and we have Di Luca (Saeco), Garmendia and Casero (Team Bianchi), Parra (Kelme), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel) and Pellizotti (Alessio) left.

The gap to the peloton is 3'20. Millar has dropped off the back of the peloton, looking for his team car.

Moncoutie is dropped from the leading group, and Parra is having trouble staying with them.

13:57 CEST    76 km/108.5 km to go
The main peloton, with Armstrong's US Postal boys, is riding a steady tempo up the Col d'Izoard. Armstrong doesn't want to blow the team apart in pursuit of these 14 leaders. The only dangerous rider up the road is Jaksche, and it might be a good tactic to let him take yellow, as it would force ONCE into doing the defensive work in coming stages. Jaksche is a good rider, but not as good as Beloki on the climbs, so unless Armstrong gives him a 5 minute lead, he should be able to get it back.

No doubt we'll see what the plan is towards the end of the stage. Interestingly, Kurt van de Wouwer (Quick.Step) is also helping out with the tempo making. With so many riders up the road (now 13, after Lastras came back to the bunch), there aren't many mountain points left for Virenque.

14:10 CEST    80 km/104.5 km to go
Armstrong still has five riders with him on the Col d'Izoard, however they're not riding a super high tempo. His other teammates are towards the back of the bunch, which is over 100 riders strong. Botero is in the bunch, meaning that the early splits must have come back together.

In front, Di Luca (Saeco), Garmendia and Casero (Team Bianchi), Jaksche (ONCE), Parra (Kelme), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), and Pellizotti (Alessio) are 6 km from the top of this 19 km climb. They have 4'30 on Armstrong's group, and about 2'00 on the next group with Moncoutie, Zampieri, Flecha, Peron and Chaurreau. McGee has been dropped from that group.

14:15 CEST    81.5 km/103 km to go
Mercado attacks the peloton, and they let him go. He quickly catches McGee, who is on his way back to the peloton, riding steadily up this climb.

The seven leaders have just 3 km to go, and are on the steepest section of the Izoard, not going particularly fast.

14:26 CEST    85 km/99.5 km to go
Mercado has caught the second group, and is on his way up to the leaders.

In the leading group, Garmendia puts in an attack with 1 km to go until top of the Izoard, chased by Jaksche, Di Luca and Lopez de Munain.

Jaksche is now chasing in second place, followed by Parra. The other four leaders are a little way back.

14:29 CEST    87 km/97.5 km to go
Garmendia takes the points at the top, and hammers down the other side. He is being chased by Jaksche and Parra. Then Di Luca, Casero, Pellizotti and Lopez de Munain.

The main peloton is taking it easy at the top of the climb, with Landis and Ekimov leading the way. Virenque is well placed to take the points for 15th on the climb (McGee was 14th). He is challenged by Mancebo, but takes it easily. The gap at the top is 5'18.

14:40 CEST    97 km/87.5 km to go
Aitor Garmendia (Bianchi) is still alone on the descent of the Izoard, being chased by Jaksche (ONCE), Parra (Kelme). Di Luca (Saeco), Casero (Team Bianchi), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel) and Pellizotti (Alessio).

Behind them are another seven riders: Mercado (iBanesto.com), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Flecha (iBanesto) together, followed by Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) then Peron (CSC) and Chaurreau (Ag2r), and then McGee, who still hasn't been caught.

The Postal-led peloton is at 5'43.

14:46 CEST    102 km/82.5 km to go
The yellow jersey peloton is still growing, as more riders catch on from behind. The Izoard is behind them, so most of the riders should make it to the finish with the bunch.

In front, Garmendia is still powering along on this looooong descent, chased by a group of six riders led by Jaksche, who is the Maillot Jaune Virtuel at the moment.

Robbie McEwen is reported as being a fair way behind the peloton now.

14:54 CEST    108 km/76.5 km to go
The situation at the moment: we have five groups on the road, with Garmendia leading Jaksche, Parra, Casero, Di Luca, Lopez de Munain and Pellizotti by 1'20. At 3'10, Zampieri, Mercado, Moncoutie and Flecha are together, followed by Peron and Chaurreau at 4'00 and the peloton at 6'10.

Currently, Jaksche is in the virtual yellow jersey, having started the day at only 3'19 down on Armstrong. None of the other riders in the break are really close on GC, Mercado being the next best at 8'48.

In the peloton, Armstrong is looking fairly comfortable in his yellow jersey, as are Jan Ullrich and Didier Rous. The GC riders may choose to take it easy over the final climbs today, and let the break stay clear.

15:04 CEST    116 km/68.5 km to go
Jaksche's group of six is closing in on the lone Aitor Garmendia, who has been in front since the top of the Izoard. The race is still descending, although it's starting to flatten out a little. The gap to Garmendia is now 0'34.

Peron and Chaurreau have finally been caught by the Postal train.

15:11 CEST    123.5 km/61 km to go
Garmendia hits the feed zone at Saint-Clement-Sur-Durance with a 10" lead on the chasers, who will catch him soon. We'll then have a group of seven again with Garmendia and (Bianchi), Jaksche (ONCE), Parra (Kelme), Di Luca (Saeco), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel) and Pellizotti (Alessio).

The gap back to the peloton is 6'35, while Mercado's group of four is in between at 3'25.

15:23 CEST    127 km/57.5 km to go
The leading seven have lost about 30" after going through the feed zone, as the peloton continues its relentless charge. Jaksche is trying to keep the pace up, as he stands to gain the yellow jersey at the end of the day if they stay well clear. At the start of the stage, Jaksche was 3'19 down on Armstrong, which means he now has a virtual lead of around 2'40.

Steve Zampieri, David Moncoutie, Juan Miguel Mercado and Juan Antonio Flecha have sat up, as they're not going to catch the leaders. They'll be absorbed into the safety of the peloton soon.

From the start of the stage, Lance Armstrong's US Postal boys have been doing the work in front. They'll be looking forward to the rest day on Wednesday. As for Armstrong, he looks his usual self, as do all the other GC favourites.

15:26 CEST    
The peloton is sorted in the following order: US Postal, Bianchi and ONCE, followed by everyone else. There is definitely a hierarchy among the GC riders.

In the front of the race, there is not a good deal of cooperation, but the seven leaders are still together, 5'31 in front of the peloton.

Jaksche has had enough, and powers away with Lopez de Munain, Casero and Pellizotti going with him. The other three (Di Luca, Garmendia and Parra) chase to close the gap. But they don't seem to want to actually work, which is suicide for the break.

15:35 CEST    137.5 km/47 km to go
The seven are back together, and working smoothly again at last. They're approaching the day's first intermediate sprint in Embrun, and Jaksche will probably go for the points. The latest gap is 4'42 to the peloton. Jaksche didn't go for the points/seconds, which were taken by Di Luca, then Casero and Lopez de Munain. However, the gap has gone up to 5'00 again.

15:46 CEST    144 km/40.5 km to go
The peloton is stretched out in a long line as it exits Embrun, all the time closing the gap to the seven leaders: Garmendia, Casero (Bianchi), Jaksche (ONCE), Parra (Kelme), Di Luca (Saeco), Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel), Pellizotti (Alessio). The latest is 4'10, which means Jaksche's virtual yellow will probably turn back to actual pink (the colour of his ONCE jersey).

The next climb, the Cat. 2 Cote de Saint-Apollinaire, will commence at around 150 km, and then we could see some action in the peloton. Or not.

US Postal is still getting a little support from Van de Wouwer/Quick.Step, due to the Virenque polka dot jersey situation. Virenque only took 1 point on the Col d'Izoard, and wants more.

15:58 CEST    153 km/31.5 km to go
Jaksche attacks at the base of the climb, taking Parra and Casero with him. The gap down to 2'30, so Jaksche is out of the yellow jersey.

In the peloton, Millar attacks. He immediately gets a gap.

16:04 CEST    154 km/30.5 km to go
Hincapie is setting the pace in front of the peloton with Rubiera, catching Garmendia, who gives one of his bottles to Ullrich has he goes back. Armstrong is in third wheel. Ullrich is right next to him.

In front, Jaksche, Parra and Casero are making their way to the top of this relatively short climb. Millar is closing in on Lopez de Munain.

Di Luca has gone back to the peloton, but Pellizotti has caught Jaksche's group now, making four leaders then Millar.

Di Luca and Gamendia go straight out the back of the peloton

16:08 CEST    155 km/29.5 km to go
Jaksche puts the hammer down on a steep section, putting Pellizotti and Casero in trouble. Parra can close the gap through. Casero gets annoyed at a roadside spectator for getting in his way. The leaders are just 1 km from the top of the Cote de Saint-Apollinaire.

Millar reaches the steep section and wishes he hadn't. He struggles up it, pedaling slowly.

The peloton is down to about 25 riders on this climb, as Beloki attacks! Armstrong and Mayo go with him.

16:12 CEST    156 km/28.5 km to go
Beloki, Mayo and Armstrong go hard on this steep section of the climb. Vinokourov, Hamilton (miracle man) and Ullrich are close behind. This is hurting Hamilton a lot, as it's hard to stay in the saddle.

Jaksche is first over the top, in front of Parra. Then Casero and Pellizotti, followed by Millar at 1'25, then Armstrong's group of seven, which is being joined by a couple of ibanesto riders.

16:16 CEST    158.5 km/26 km to go
The top GC riders are all together over the top, with 10 men going over about 1'30 behind Jaksche and Parra. No word on Casero and Pellizotti, but Millar should be on them soon.

Ahh, here they are. Casero catches Jaksche and Parra on the descent. Pellizotti is still chasing, followed by Millar, then the Armstrong group which has Heras in it now. Chasing them is another small group with Virenque, and they catch on.

16:22 CEST    163.5 km/21 km to go
There is a regrouping of the groupe maillot jaune on the descent of the Cote de Saint-Apollinaire, and there are now 32 men in it.

2'00 in front is Jaksche's group of four, which contains Pellizotti, Parra and Casero. In between, Millar is trying to bridge at 1'00

Casero takes the sprint in Chorges, followed by Jaksche and Parra.

16:27 CEST    167.5 km/17 km to go
The four leaders are approaching the final climb o the day, the Côte de La Rochette, a 4 km climb at 7.4%. They have 0'55 on David Millar and 1'45 on the yellow jersey peloton, which is busy getting bidons for the finale.

Millar is riding on the tops of the bars, arms hung over the front in TT style. However the peloton is closing in on him again, with US Postal and David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) leading.

Millar takes an (illegal?) bottle from the team car, and throws it away, getting a brief tow. It probably won't do him any good though with the peloton lined out behind him.

16:30 CEST    169.5 km/15 km to go
The four leaders hit the 15 km to go banner, and have stopped working. Casero decides to attack, followed by Parra. The others chase him down too.

Millar goes under 15 km to go at 30", then Rubiera leads the peloton at 1'00.

Parra attacks the leaders, and Jaksche closes it. The German is having a good day.

16:33 CEST    171.5 km/13 km to go
The leaders have really stopped cooperating now, and this will help Millar close the gap. The tall Scot is about 30" behind now.

Parra attacks again, and they let him go. He hits the foot of the climb with a good 10" gap. Casero, Jaksche and Pellizotti have all but given up, although Jaksche keeps riding as the other two stop.

16:37 CEST    174.5 km/10 km to go
Parra has 10 km to go, with Jaksche chasing him. Millar has given up, and goes straight out the back of the peloton when it catches him.

Etxebarria attacks the peloton, but can't get much of a gap as Rubiera rides hard behind him. Etxebarria is caught and Vinokourov counters.

16:39 CEST    175.5 km/9 km to go
Vinokourov's attack is good, catching and dropping Casero and closing in on Parra and Jaksche, who are now together.

Vinokourov powers up to Parra and Jaksche and attacks immediately. Jaksche tries to hold him, and does.

16:42 CEST    176.5 km/8 km to go
Armstrong and Heras are leading the peloton in pursuit of Vinokourov and Jaksche, who can't hold the charging Kazakh any more. Vino has 20" with 1 km to go until the summit.

Vino crosses the top of the Côte de La Rochette, as Armstrong steps up the pace behind. Beloki, Ullrich, Basso, Mayo, Zubeldia all go with him. Armstrong's pace making is good, but he's still got 10 riders with him.

16:45 CEST    177.5 km/7 km to go
Vino hits the descent with a 16" gap to Armstrong's group, as the yellow jersey himself leads the chase. Beloki is also helping, as he is in second on GC. Bettini is on the back of the group, that contains all the top riders. Even Jaksche is hanging on.

Vinokourov took the points on the climb ahead of Armstrong, Beloki, Zubeldia and Mayo.

16:47 CEST    178.5 km/6 km to go
Beloki and Armstrong are leading the chase behind Vinokourov, who is flying with 6 km to go. This will be a close finish, but there is a 20" time bonus on the line... Look out for Bettini.

16:48 CEST    180.5 km/4 km to go
This is a very technical descent, and Vino has lost a couple of seconds to Armstrong's group on it. But he's still clear. One mistake will cost him the stage.

Beloki loses it! Armstrong has to go down the grass embankment, taking a short cut. He amazingly gets back onto the group. Beloki is out though. He locked up his brakes just before a corner, and landed heavily on his hip.

16:50 CEST    181.5 km/3 km to go
Beloki has two teammates with him, but is still lying there. That was a hard crash.

Vino has 3 km to go, and is certainly not going to wait for the rest.

16:51 CEST    
Ullrich, Hamilton , Armstrong, Zubeldia, Mayo are all working hard to try and catch Vinokourov. Behind them, Beloki still hasn't got back up.

The gap to Vino is now 30"

16:51 CEST    183.5 km/1 km to go
Vinokourov has 1 km to go, and is on track for a great stage win in a dramatic finale.

Armstrong will thank his lucky stars that he avoided that crash somehow.

16:53 CEST    184.5 km/0 km to go
Vinokourov crosses the line, absolutely delighted with his win. Behind him, Bettini flies to take second place in front of Mayo and Armstrong.

Vino will move up to second on GC behind Armstrong, with Mayo in third now at 1'02.

Beloki has been taken away in an ambulance after locking it up on that last descent. A sad exit for him for this Tour, which held a lot of promise. But Vinokourov put them under a lot of pressure with his attack. Armstrong's handling skills were pretty impressive to avoid that, and he was lucky there were no fences when he went cross country. Hamilton even patted him on the shoulder when they passed him after he'd got back in the pedals.

Thankyou for following our live coverage of stage 9 of the Tour. We'll be back again tomorrow at 11:46 with Stage 10 from Gap to Marseille. Until then!


1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Telekom                        5.02.00
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step                               0.36
3 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor
5 Jan Ullrich(Ger) Team Bianchi                               
6 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner
8 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com                  
9 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
10 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC  

General classification after stage 9

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor
2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Telekom                           0.21
3 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                            1.02
4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com                         1.37

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