By Thomas Dodd
- Giant Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin takes stage nine to Andorra
- First summit finish of 2016 race
- Route takes riders out of France for first time before Monday’s rest day
ANDORRE ARCALIS, ANDORRA – Dutchman Tom Dumoulin claimed his first victory at the Tour de France by winning stage nine up to Andorra Arcalis.
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Already a winner of stages in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, Dumoulin enhanced his reputation as a Grand Tour racer with an impressive solo victory ahead of the the race’s first rest day.
Sunday’s route saw the first mountain top finish of the race, as well as taking the riders out of France for the first time.
An initial break of 20 was reduced to 10 as they approached the final ascent to the ‘hors’ category Arcalis, before Dumoulin broke clear and rode away to claim the win by nearly forty seconds.
In a better day for France – prior to the evening’s football in Paris – Thibaut Pinot, who was also in the break, scored enough points over the top of the climbs to put himself in the polka dot jersey in the King of the Mountains classification.
A day which started in glorious 35 degree sunshine saw the riders go up the Arcalis battling a vicious hailstorm as the temperatures dropped to 10 above freezing, but it didn’t stop the favourites engaging in an entertaining game of cat and mouse right to the end.
Chris Froome used teammate Sergio Henao perfectly to and put more time into his competitors, though the defending champion was successfully marked by Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana.
The day’s biggest losers were Alejandro Valverde, Fabio Aru and Joaquim Rodriguez, all of whom struggled to live with the select few at the top of standings to fall down the leaderboard.
It was an even worse day for one of the pre-race favourites Alberto Contador. The Spaniard, who used the last time the race finished at Arcalis in 2009 to set himself up for a second overall victory, sat up and got into the team car to officially abandon the race before the final climb.
The Brits go into the Tour’s first day off having won five of the opening nine stages and currently heading three of the jersey classifications, with Froome in yellow, Adam Yates holding white and Mark Cavendish wearing green.
Stage 9 Result (Vielha Val d’Aran to Andorre Arcalis 184.5km)
1. Tom Dumoulin (FRA) Giant Alpecin 5h16m24seconds
2. Rui Costa (POR) Lampre +38seconds
3. Rafa Majka (POL) Tinkoff +38
4. Daniel Navarro (ESP) Cofidis +1m39
5. Winner Andrew Ancona Gomez (COL) Movistar +1m57
6. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ +2m30
7. George Bennett (AUS) Team Lotto Jumbo +2m48
8. Diego Rosa (ITA) Astana +2m52
9. Mathias Frank (SUI) IAM Cycling +3m44
10. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica +6m35
11. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky +6m35
25. Geraint Thomas, Sky +7m24
124. Luke Rowe, Sky +35m26
131. Ian Stannard, Sky +35m26
173. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +35m26
186. Daniel McLay, Sky +35m26
191. Steven Cummings, Dimension Data +35m26
Overall Standings (After Stage 9):
1. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky 39h13m04seconds
2. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica +16
3. Dan Martin (IRE) Etixx-QuickStep +19
4. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar +23
5. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha +37
6. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R +44
7. Bauke Mollemea (HOL) Trek-Segafredo +44
8. Sergio Henao Montoya (COL) Sky +44
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre +55
10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +1m01
16. Geraint Thomas, Sky +3m20
136. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +1h43m09
157. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +1h49m35
169. Ian Stannard, Sky +1h52m32
172. Luke Rowe, Sky +1h53m09
182. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +1h55m07
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