Tour de France: Rigoberto Uran takes the victory in a crash-marred stage 9
Jul 09 2017 11:15 pm CET

Tour de France: Rigoberto Uran takes the victory in a crash-marred stage 9
Tour de France: Rigoberto Uran takes the victory in a crash-marred stage 9
Photo of Rigoberto Uran by Cannondale-Drapac

Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran has won the ninth stage of the Tour de France. The Colombian was the fastest in a reduced sprint on a day marred by crashes and withdrawals.

The ninth stage of the French Grand Tour was deemed to be the most difficult in the race, with three hors-category climbs and dangerous descents, which got even worse with the rainy conditions of the day.

From the first kilometre, the attacks started from the peloton with the favourites expecting to send some teammates in the escape to aid them on the upcoming climbs. At the end a group of 38 riders managed to break free and got a gap of more than five minutes with the pack, though it broke and changed throughout the course.

Riders of Trek-Segafredo, Movistar, Lotto-Soudal, Sunweb, Katusha-Alpecin, Orica-Scott, and Cannondale-Drapac, among others, conformed the group.

Ahead of the last climb only Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) remained in the lead, followed by riders who were in the original escape. But the ascent of the Mont du Chat proved to be too hard for Bakelants, leaving Gallopin alone in front and followed by Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Warren Barguil (Sunweb).

Behind them, Chris Froome (Team Sky) called for mechanical assistance and Fabio Aru (Astana) took that moment to attack, being followed by Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Richie Porte (BMC). This attackers then reduced their speed however, allowing the three-times champion of the race to come back to the group.

In front Barguil got the lead and was closely followed by Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), Mollema, Bakelants and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Behind them, all the favourites were left without teammates and several attacks were launched, most successfully by Froome who could only be followed by Porte, Bardet, and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac). Quintana and Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador were dropped at this point.

Later on, Fuglsang, Dan Martin (Quick-Step) and Aru rejoined the group of the favourites, leaving Quintana behind. Barguil was the first one to cross the last pass of the day and the favourites group reached the summit around 20 seconds later.

On the descent, Porte went off course and crashed. It was impossible for Martin to avoid him and the Irishman ended up on the ground as well. Medical services attended the Porte at the side of the road while an ambulance arrived to the location. Martin did manage to continue in the race.

Bardet went ahead in the mean time and caught Barguil, leaving him behind with 11 kilometres to go in the stage. Behind him the chasing group with most of the remaining favourites increased the pace with the objective of catching the AG2R rider.

With 2 kilometres to go, Bardet was caught and the group went ahead to finish in a sprint that was won by Uran, who crossed the finish line centimetres before Barguil. Froome, Bardet and Aru complete the top five of the day.

It was a day of crashes and abandons, with riders like Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Manuele Mori (UAE-Team Emirates), and Porte forced to leave the race.

Froome remains at the top of the General Classification standings, followed by Aru at 18 seconds and Bardet at 51. Quintana lost more than two minutes on the day while Contador's Tour ambitions seem over with a loss of more than four minutes.




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