The Tour de France continued with another punishing mountain stage in the Pyrenees. Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) won his first-ever Tour de France stage with a victory in Stage 9 by a half-wheel at Le Runs. Fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) finished second and seized the yellow jersey to take over first place general classification.
Switzerland’s Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) led Stage 8 for 88 km, but the dogged chase pack caught him with 2 km to go. Pogacar held off Hirschi and Roglic for the victory at Le Runs.
“It’s really crazy after that hard day to win the stage,” said Pogacar. “It’s really incredible. Thanks to my teammates, they did a really good job all day. I’m really happy to pull that victory.”
|TOUR de FRANCE STAGE 9 RESULTS|
- Tadej Pogacar (UAE) 03:55:17
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
- Marc Hirschi (Sunweb)
- Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)
- Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)
Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) lost the yellow jersey and slipped to eighth place. He now trails Roglic by more than a minute.
After the victory at Le Runs, Pogacar improved to +275 odds to win this year’s Tour de France.
Only 166 riders remain in the 2020 Le Tour heading into the first rest day.
Stage 9: Pau > Le Runs
Sunday’s action featured another short ride covering 153 km through the Pyrenees.
Hirschi led a breakaway from the peloton. He led for 88 km while two chase packs emerged to try and run him down. By the time he reached the summit at Col d’Ichere, he opened up a lead approximately 4:20 ahead of the chase pack.
The second chase pack included the top riders in the GC (Roglic, Pogacar, Egan Bernal, and Mikel Landa). They caught up to the first pack and attacked Hirschi on the ascent of Col de Marie Blanque.
Pogacar and company closed the gap, and Hirschi only led by 20 seconds. The chase pack caught him on the descent with less than 2 km remaining.
“I wanted to gain as much time as I could in GC, but in the last 800 meters I knew the stage win was worth 10 seconds,” said Hirschi. “I was focusing for the sprint and I just went full gas.”
Pogacar held off Roglic and Hirschi, and narrowly defeated the other sprinters. The expression on Pogacar’s face, a combination of jubilation and surprise, told the entire story of Stage 9.
Bernal didn’t challenge Roglic or Pogacar in the final sprint to the finish, but he finished in fourth place.
“I felt that I enjoyed the last climb a lot,” said Bernal. “It was a really steep and short climb, and you can do a big difference in a climb like this. I was feeling good and it gave me a bit of confidence for the next part of the race.”
Next Up: Stage 10 Ile d’Oleron > Ile de Re
The riders will rest on Monday before resuming on Tuesday with a 168.5 km ride in Stage 10. The 10th stage includes island hopping in the Charente-Maritime area of southwest France. Stage 10 begins at the historic and swanky Le Chateau-d’Oleron on Ile d’Oleron. The riders travel via aqueduct to the French mainland and head over to Rochefort, then a quick jaunt to La Rochelle, before ending the race on Ile de Re at Saint-Martin-de-Re.
After a couple of challenging mountain stages in the Pyrenees, the peloton faces the flattest and fastest stage of the Grand Race. Sprinters are the favorites once again in Stage 10. Oddsmakers like Peter Sagan (Bora) and Sam Bennet (DQS) to ride to victory in the island-hopping stage.
Will Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) win his third sprint stage after winning Stage 5 and Stage 7?
|LE TOUR GC STANDING (THRU STAGE 9)|
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 38:40:01
- Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +00:21
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +00:28
Adam Yates first earned the yellow jersey in Stage 5 when leader Julian Alaphilippe was assessed a time penalty for illegal feeding during the home stretch to Privas. Yates successfully defended the yellow jersey for several stages before Roglic snatched it during Stage 9.
Yates, now 1:02 behind the leader, fell to 8th place overall.
Last year’s champion, Egan Bernal (Ineos), moved into second place, but he’s 21 seconds behind Roglic.
“I know that I have lost time to Roglic and Tadej Pogacar, but I’m patient and staying focused and trying to go day by day because this is a race of three weeks and the last stages will be hard,” said Bernal.
In the latest odds update, Roglic is the favorite to win the Tour de France at -139 odds. Bernal is 3/1 odds to repeat as champion.
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