Luis Leon Sanchez has won the ninth stage of the Tour de France after a successful breakaway by Thomas Voeckler, Sanchez and Sandy Casar. The trio had built up a lead of 5 minutes on the peloton but that lead was reduced to 3’59” by the finish. This vaults Voeckler into Yellow and Luis Leon Sanchez into second place going into tomorrow’s rest day.
Another brutal day in the Tour de France as crashes are reshaping the race all the time. Alexander Vinokourov is out of the race with a broken femur and wrist from a crash. Jurgen Van den Brouck is out with a broken shoulder blade. Amets Txurruka is out with a broken collarbone. Also, early word is that Christian Vande Velde has crashed out, Pavel Brutt withdrew, and some others I haven’t sorted out yet. Alberto Contador crashed again but seemed to be relatively fine after. The absolute worst crash was a France TV car which sideswiped Juan Antonio Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland trying to avoid a tree sending Hoogerland into a barbed wire fence. He continued on but was bloodied all through the legs.
Well, the GC has been majorly reshuffled. It’s unlikely that a 2’29” lead for Voeckler will last through all the mountain stages, but he is a strong climber when he’s motivated and more experienced than in 2004. It will eb interesting to see how the next week shapes up. Tomorrow is the rest day.
Stage 9 Top Five
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)______5h27’09”
2. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)________+05″
3. Sandy Casar (FDJ)_________________+13″
4. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)__________+3’59”
5. Peter Velits (HTC)________________
Complete Stage results: Le Tour
General Classification Top Three after Stage 9
1. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)_______38h35’11”
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)______+1’49”
3. Cadel Evans (BMC)_________________+2’26”
4. Frank Schleck (Leopard)___________+2’29”
5. Andy Schleck (Leopard)____________+2’37”
Complete Overall results: Le Tour
Green Jersey (points) Top Three after Stage 9
1. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)______(217)
2. J.J. Rojas (Movistar)_______(172)
3. Mark Cavendish (HTC)______(153)