Tour de France LIVE: Stage 9 latest updates on route to Tignes

We are back in Tignes for the Tour de France, two years after the race had to be suddenly suspended due to a mudslide on the road, and the peloton never reached the finish. It proved decisive as the yellow jersey saw a switch from Julian Alaphilippe to Egan Bernal, who went on to win, but this time around the irrepressible Tadej Pogacar is in the maillot jaune and looking extremely well-placed for success.

Pogacar produced a stunning display on stage 8 and opened up a gap of 1min 46sec ahead of Wout van Aert at the top of the standings. He is around five minutes on his most realistic rivals, including Alexey Lutsenko, Rigoberto Uran, Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas. The question now is surely by how much, rather than if, Pogacar will retain his crown.

Stage 9 is the final stint before Monday’s first rest day and it is another brute in the Alps. There are five categorised climbs scattered through the 145km route from Cluses to Tignes, with the hors categorie Col du Pre in the middle before a 21km drag up to the summit finish.

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Tour de France – Stage 9

Back to today’s stage and two riders have made an early attack six kilometres in. Harry Sweeny and Davide Ballerini have broken clear of the peloton and have built up a 50 second gap as they approach the first climb of the day up to Côte de Domancy (cat-2).

Both riders are competing in the Tour de France for the first time.

Tour de France: Van der Poel and Roglic quit

And here’s Van der Poel on his decision: “When you see a mountain stage like this, I think it’s impossible to defend against the climbers. And it was also not my goal to go for GC. It’s been an amazing dream week for me and the team. We won a stage – 2 stages! – and we’ve had yellow for 6 days. It was my first Grand Tour and I think we can be really proud of that.

“Unfortunately, I will not start today. We decided with the team that it’s in my best interests to quit the race and focus on the Olympics now. I’m going to take some time to recover from this first week. We know it would have been difficult for me, and I have some other goals. And due to corona, it was impossible for me to do the whole Tour and then be at my top game in Tokyo. We’ve had an amazing week, and I’ll be back next year to go to Paris.

Tour de France: Van der Poel and Roglic quit

In a statement, Roglic said: “We took the decision altogether with the team, it doesn’t make sense to continue the way it was going at the end. I was really bad and in a lot of pain. With the normal stages it was too much for my body at the moment. I’m definitely disappointed, I didn’t plan this to be the way it is and you have to accept it. I have to go on with this decision. I have to be optimistic, look to the future and new goals.”

A brutal week for the Slovenian.

Tour de France: Van der Poel and Roglic quit

The big news from this morning is that Mathieu van der Poel and Primoz Roglic have not lined up for today’s stage and have therefore quit this year’s Tour.

Van der Poel wore the yellow jersey until yesterday but it sounds like he was completely wrecked after his efforts over the week and was then finished off as the Tour hit the big climbs of the Alps.

Roglic, who was the runner up at last year’s Tour, was involved in a brutal crash on Stage 2 and was seemingly still suffering from the incident as he dropped out of GC contention yesterday.

Tour de France – Stage 9

Prediction

Tadej Pogacar held himself back from challenging for the stage 8 victory as rain fell and made the treacherous descent to the finish too dangerous a place to take a risk. But he has the peloton at his mercy and there is no reason for him to hold back here, with a rest day to come, should he be near the front come the final stretch. If not Pogacar then it is a day for a pure climber in a breakaway: Nairo Quintana has won on profiles like this one before and he is out of the overall running, so could have a free tilt at the run to Tignes.

Tour de France – Stage 9

Hello and welcome to this afternoon’s live coverage of Stage 9 of the Tour de France, following a dramatic stage yesterday in which Tadej Pogacar launched a stunning assault on the yellow jersey as the race hit the Alps.

Stage 9 is the final stint before Monday’s first rest day and it is another brute in the Alps. There are five categorised climbs scattered through the 145km route from Cluses to Tignes, with the hors categorie Col du Pre in the middle before a 21km drag up to the summit finish.

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