Casar Wins Stage 9 of Tour; Schleck Takes Yellow Jersey
Sandy Casar (Ag2r) has won Stage 9 of the 2010 Tour de France.
Sandy Casar (Ag2r) has won Stage 9 of the 2010 Tour de France. The Frenchman outsprinted three other survivors of a daylong break to win the mountainous, 204.5-km ride from Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in 5:38:10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) outsprinted Damiano Cunego (Lampre) for second. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) is the new maillot jaune.
In the first 10 km, 10 men escaped. They were points competition leader Thor Hushovd (Cervelo), King of the Mountains competition leader Jerome Pineau (Quick Step), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Cyril Gautier and Anthony Charteau (both from Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Luis Leon Sanchez, Christophe Moreau, and Jose Ivan Gutierrez (both from Caisse d'Epargne), Casar, and Johannes Frohlinger (Milram). At 30 km, the break led the bunch by 2:50. Cunego and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) began to bridge up to the break.
On the Category 1 Col de la Colombiere, Hushovd and Frohlinger were dropped. Cunego and Taaramae continued to pursue the break. They caught the escapees at 57 km.
The break led the field by 5:30 on the Category 1 Col des Saisies (97 km) and extended their lead to 6:19 at 131 km. Saxo Bank began to chase, and the peloton began to shed riders and reduce the lead.
When the lead fell to five minutes, Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) attempted to bridge up to the escapees. Ahead, the break was on the Hors Categorie Col de la Madeleine. Sanchez, Gautier, Casar, Charteau, Moreau, Gutierrez, Cunego, and Voigt remained. Before the break reached the summit, Voigt, Moreau, and Gautier were dropped.
Saxo Bank led the maillot jaune group onto the Madeleine. Maillot jaune Cadel Evans (BMC), who suffered a broken hand in a Stage 8 crash, was dropped, as were Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong (both from RadioShack). Schleck attacked Alberto Contador (Astana) several times, and the latter responded each time. Ahead, only Sanchez, Casar, and Charteau remained in the break. Just short of the summit, Cunego got back on.
The 32-km descent to the finish was fast. With 15 km left, the break led the bunch by about a minute and a half. With three km left, the gap was down to 0:36. One km later, 0:16 separated bunch and break.
The finish was technical, with the last turn coming just 200 m from the finish. Casar had the lead at that turn and held off his breakmates for the win. Evans arrived at the finish more than eight minutes later.
In the overall, Schleck leads Contador by 0:41 and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) at 2:54. Stage 10 will take the riders out of the Alps. The rugged, 179-km ride from Chambery to Gap will take the riders over the Category 1 Cote de Laffrey at 77 km, the Category 3 Cote des Terrasses at 98 km, and the Category 2 Col du Noyer at 145 km. This stage is tailor-made for a long break. Who will be in it? Who will win? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!