Tour de France 2022 LIVE: Stage 9 latest updates as Tadej Pogacar aims to hold on to yellow jersey

Belgium’s Wout van Aert won the eighth stage of the Tour de France on Saturday in a hilly 186.3-km ride from Dole to Lausanne. The Jumbo-Visma rider prevailed in a reduced bunch sprint at the top of the Cote du Stade Olympique, a 4.8-km effort at an average gradient of 4.6%. Tadej Pogacar retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey by finishing third, picking up a four-second time bonus in the process.

Sunday’s ninth stage is a 192.9km mountainous trek from Aigle in Switzerland to Chatel in France. It is the final ride before Monday’s rest day and could turn into another big day for the general classification riders. The majority of the route is through Switzerland, starting with an immediate category four climb (Cote de Bellevue) which offers an opportunity to form an early breakaway for those bold enough to attack it.

Afterwards comes an intermediate sprint before the category two Col des Mosse and familiar category one Col de la Croix leading into a long, fast descent to the French border. Once back in France, the peloton faces the category one Pas de Morgins, a long ascent with a plateaued summit, before another drop and short climb to the finish at Chatel les Portes du Solieil.

Follow all the updates from Stage 9 of the Tour de France:

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Tour de France 2022: Pogacar’s teammate Laengen ruled out with Covid

Geoffrey Bouchard and Vegard Stake Laengen became the first Tour de France riders to pull out of the race with COVID-19, their teams said on Saturday.

Shortly after Bouchard’s withdrawal, UAE Team Emirates said Norwegian Laengen, a team mate of overall leader Tadej Pogacar, had tested positive.

“Vegard tested negative yesterday morning during the routine internal team testing protocol. But he reported sore throat symptoms late last night,” team doctor Adriano Rotunno said.

“The COVID-19 antigen test was positive, and the diagnosis was confirmed on a PCR test this morning. As per protocol, for his, the team, and the peloton’s safety he will be withdrawn from the race.”

Frenchman Bouchard, 30, won the mountains classification at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana and in last year’s Giro d’Italia.

“During the (seventh) stage (on Friday) I did not feel well. It’s a huge disappointment because we were just getting to my favourite terrain, the mountains,” AG2R-Citroen’s Bouchard said in a team statement.

AG2R-Citroen said that the rest of their squad, from whom Bouchard had been isolated, were negative for COVID-19.

Tour de France 2022: The invisible champion out to win historic third Tour de France

In Monaco, Tadej Pogacar blends into the city. He walks invisibly through the streets and potters freely around his local supermarket. Even in his favourite bike shop, the best cyclist in the world queues among the muggles without being disturbed. “I like to go inside and see what’s new, and of course I don’t mind if there’s customers in front of me, it’s normal,” he says.

By all measures a double Tour de France champion should be one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet, a bonafide global superstar unable to walk through a hotel lobby without dark glasses and an entourage, but somehow Pogacar has not yet transcended the sport. One suspects if he was from cycling’s European heartlands or the US with a name that rolled off the tongue, his profile might be a little different. His “TP” brand with an eagle motif and a “never give up” tagline is yet to take off quite like Roger Federer or Tiger Woods.

But understated and low-key is how Pogacar approaches life and cycling, just riding for the joy of it, an ethos which has brought rich rewards so far. After winning back-to-back Tours de France, an historic third next month would set him firmly on course to becoming one of cycling’s all-time greats, and what makes it all possible is just how little he is driven by his own sporting legacy. “For me that’s not something that I would enjoy after [my career] too much and brag about it. I work hard to win a lot of races, but for me the priority is just to be a good friend to my friends and have good relations with the people I want in my life.”

Tadej Pogacar: The invisible champion out to win historic third Tour de France

Exclusive interview: The 23-year-old lives life under the radar and reveals a down-to-earth ethos behind his astonishing success as he goes for a third yellow jersey

Tour de France 2022: Satge 9 route map and profile of 193km road to the Alps today

Stage nine takes this Tour de France into the mountains and this final ride before Monday’s rest day could set up another battle between the big general classification stars.

The majority of this 193km route is in Switzerland, starting in Aigle where an immediate category four climb (Cote de Bellevue, 4.3km at 4% gradient) offers a platform for the breakaway to form.

A sprint and two more category climbs follow before a long descent into France and one final mountain before a run to the finish. Take a look at how Stage 9 shapes up for the contenders:

Stage 9 set for battle in the mountains as Tour de France arrives in the Alps today

There will likely be a battle once more between the big hitters

Tour de France 2022: Stage 9 map and profile

Here’s what the riders have to look forward to today:

Stage 9 map

Stage 9 profile

Tour de France 2022: General classification before stage 9

Here’s how the battle for the yellow jersey is shaping up:

Tour de France 2022: How to watch Stage 9

The stage is scheduled to start at around 11.45pm BST with the expected finish at around 4:45pm BST.

Tour de France coverage can be found this year on ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+ and GCN+ (Global Cycling Network).

Live racing each day will be shown on ITV4 before highlights typically at 7pm each day. ITV’s website lists timings here.

Eurosport and GCN+ will show every minute of every stage. More on Eurosport’s coverage here and the GCN+ coverage here.

It is also being shown on Eurosport’s Discovery+ streaming service, with broadcast info here.

Tour de France 2022: Wout van Aert takes stage eight Tour glory as Tadej Pogacar extends lead

Wout Van Aert and Tadej Pogacar once again took the glory on stage eight of the Tour de France as Van Aert snatched his second victory of the week and Pogacar extended his lead in the yellow jersey.

After hopes of a breakaway success were extinguished as the race moved into Switzerland, Van Aert had the power to beat Michael Matthews in an uphill sprint to the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, but Pogacar, ever hungry for success, was in the mix too as he came home in third.

And such is the appetite of a rider who has been compared to “The Cannibal” Eddy Merckx in recent days that the 23-year-old tried to fight for what would have been a third stage win in as many days, and sounded disappointed when he could only manage third place.

Wout van Aert takes stage eight Tour glory as Tadej Pogacar extends lead

Van Aert had the power to beat Michael Matthews in an uphill sprint

Tour de France 2022: Stage 8 recap

After a long journey to the top of Cote du Stade Olympique, stage 8 of the Tour de France came down to a hilly sprint finish and the green jersey holder, Wout van Aert came up with the goods to win his second stage of the 2022 tour.

Here’s a look at the winning moment for the Belgian:

Tour de France 2022: Stage 9

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the 2022 Tour de France. Today’s ride sees the contenders journey 193km from Aigle in Switzerland through the mountains before finishing at Les Chatel Portes du Soleil in France. It is the last ride before a rest day on Monday so expect attacks and moves from the general classification cyclists fighting for the yellow jersey.

Belgian Wout van Aert took the victory in Saturday’s stage 8, winning a sprint finish at the top of Cote du Stade Olympique to start today’s run as the green jersey holder whilst Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar finished third and extended his lead in the GC to 39 seconds.

Pogacar will be hoping for another strong showing today to ensure he holds onto the yellow jersey heading into the next stage.

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