Fedrigo Wins Stage 9 of Tour
Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 9 of the 2009 Tour. The Frenchman outsprinted Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) to win the mountainous, 160.5-km run from Saint-Gaudens to Tarbes in 4:05:31. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) took the bunch sprint for third. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) remains the maillot jaune.
At 15 km, a 13-man break formed. The members included Fedrick, Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Stephane Auge and Leonardo Duque (both from Cofidis), Pellizotti and Daniele Righi (both from Liquigas), Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo), Danny Pate (Garmin), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), Benoit Vaugrenard (Francaise des Jeux), Markus Fothen (Milram), Stijn Devolder (Quick Step), and Simon Geschke (Skil). By 30 km, the bunch had reeled in all of the escapees except for Fedrick, Pellizotti, Duque, and Voigt. Those four led the Katusha-led bunch by 4:00.
On the Category 1 Col d'Aspin, Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) attacked from the peloton, and Amets Txurruka and Egoi Martinez (both from Euskaltel), Sergio Paulinho (Astana), and Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) joined him. Eventually, David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Jurgen van den Broeck (Silence), Juan Miguel Garate (Rabobank), and Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) joined them. Ahead, Pellizotti led the break over the summit. At this point, the escapees led the field by 3:20.
On the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet, the break, which had dropped Duque earlier, dropped Voigt. With 57 km left, the fugitives led the chase group, out of which Ten Dam had crashed, by 3:10 and the peloton by 5:10. Astana began to chase, and Columbia took over from the Kazakh squad.
With 41 km remaining, the bunch led the break by a little more than four minutes. Rabobank and Caisse d'Epargne took over at the front. With 30 km left, the gap was down to two and a half minutes.
The escapees' advantage fell from 1:30 with 10 km remaining to 1:00 with seven km left to 0:45 with five km to go. Caisse d'Epargne, Rabobank, and Garmin drove the peloton.
With two km left, Fedrigo and Pellizotti led the field by 0:40. Going into the last turn, Pellizotti attacked, but the Frenchman took the Italian's wheel and passed him for the win.
In the overall, Nocentini leads Alberto Contador (Astana) by 0:06 and Lance Armstrong (Astana) by 0:08. Tomorrow is the Tour's first rest day. Stage 10 will take place on Bastille Day. A French victory will be poetic justice, but such is unlikely to occur. A foreign sprinter will probably win the flat, 194.5-km run from Limoges to Issoudun. Which one will it be? Mark Cavendish (Columbia)? Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)? Oscar Freire (Rabobank)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!