Tour de France: Stages 7 – 9

As we enter today’s rest day, there have been dramatic changes at the top  (and I don’t mean the News of the world!)

1 VOECKLER Thomas 181 TEAM EUROPCAR FRA 38h 35′ 11″ + 00′ 00″

2 SANCHEZ Luis-Leon 47 RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM ESP 38h 37′ 00″ + 01′ 49″

3 EVANS Cadel 141 BMC RACING TEAM AUS 38h 37′ 37″ + 02′ 26″

4 SCHLECK Frank 18 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK LUX 38h 37′ 40″ + 02′ 29″

5 SCHLECK Andy 11 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK LUX 38h 37′ 48″ + 02′ 37″

6 MARTIN Tony 175 HTC – HIGHROAD GER 38h 37′ 49″ + 02′ 38″

7 VELITS Peter 179 HTC – HIGHROAD SVK 38h 37′ 49″ + 02′ 38″

8 KLÖDEN Andréas 74 TEAM RADIOSHACK GER 38h 37′ 54″ + 02′ 43″

9 GILBERT Philippe 32 OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO BEL 38h 38′ 06″ + 02′ 55″

10 FUGLSANG Jakob 13 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK DEN 38h 38′ 19″ + 03′ 08″

(Existing Yellow Jersey holder, Thor Hushovd moves down to 24th position.  Last year’s winner Alberto Contador is now up to 16th)

Green Jersey: GILBERT Philippe 32 OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO BEL 217pts

Polka Dot Jersey:   HOOGERLAND Johnny VACANSOLEIL-DCM NED 22pts

White Jersey: GESINK Robert NED 38h 39′ 12″

Team Competition: TEAM EUROPCAR 115h 03′ 31″

 So why all this change?  A dramatic few days is the answer.

Stage 7:

Mixed fortunes for British riders in this stage saw Mark Cavendish grab yet

Bradley Wiggins crashes during Stage 7.

another stage win, but also the withdrawal of the unfortunate Bradley Wiggins after an awful crash.  His joy was clouded by a broken collarbone sustained by Bradley Wiggins after a pile-up in the peloton, which forced the 31-year-old Team Sky rider to retire.  Even worse for Team Sky, delays suffered by Geraint Thomas following that crash meant he relinquished the white jersey to Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

Stage 7  result:

1. Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) 5h 38′ 53″

2. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) +00′ 00″

3. Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma – Lotto) +00′ 00″

4. Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) +00′ 00″

5. Willian Bonnet (FDJ) +00′ 00″

6. Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) +00′ 00″

7. Thor Hushovd (Garmin – Cervelo) +00′ 00″

8. Sebastien Turgot (Europcar) +00′ 00″

9. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) +00′ 00″

10. Sebastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) +00′ 00″

Stage 8:

Rui Costa won the stage for Movistar, but it was Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert who retained yellow and grab green respectively.  A week in and 189 riders are left in the starting pack for Saturday’s tricky Stage 8  from Aigurande to Super-Besse with four climbs either side of the sole intermediate sprint at Auzances.

Stage 8 result:

1. Rui Costa (Movistar) 4h 36′ 46″

2. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) +00′ 12″

3. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) +00′ 15″

4. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) +00′ 15″

5. Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) +00′ 15″

6. Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) +00′ 15″

7. Damiano Cunego (Lampre) +00′ 15″

8. Alberto Contador (Saxo-Bank Sungard) +00′ 15″

9. Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) +00′ 15″

10. Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek) +00′ 15″

Stage 9

A dramatic day in the Massif Centralmountains proved disastrous for some riders, with a number being forced to abandon the race after crashes. One crash involved a collision black car owned by a French television channel and
Johnny Hoogerland. In the last few kilometres of the race, the car attempted to overtake the him,  but, swerving to avoid a tree by the side of the road, rammed into the side of Flecha, who in turn sent Hoogerlander cartwheeling painfully into a barbed-wire fence.   The bloodied pair eventually remounted  and were soon absorbed back into the main pack and both finished the stage.  A tearful Hoogerland later accepting his hard-won King of the Mountains jersey.
In Thomas Voeckler,  it was a Frenchman in the Yellow Jersey however.  The last time the Tour passed through the town of Saint Flour, where this year’s ninth stage was due to conclude, Thomas Voeckler was wearing the maillot jaune of the race leader.  After today’s finish, where the Frenchman lead an early breakaway that lasted right to the stage’s end, he won back the golden fleece once again, the first time since 2004.

Stage 9 result:

1. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) 5h 27’09”

2. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) +00’05”

3. Sandy Casar (FdJ) +00’13”

4. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto + 03’59”

5. Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) + 03’59”

6. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing)  + 03’59”

7. Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) + 03’59”

8. Tony Martin (HTV-Highroad + 03’59”

9. Frank schleck (eam leopard-trek + 03’59”

10. Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) +03

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