07/07/13 - 10:30
Saint-Girons - Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Tour de France • Stage9

Saint-Girons - Bagnères-de-Bigorre

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Despite being isolated for the best part of 130km, Froome held on to retain his yellow jersey. His team-mate Porte drops out of the top ten. New second place is Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who is 1:25 down. Bauke Mollema of Belkin is third at 1:50.


Richie Porte is still riding and will lose around 18 minutes today. He's had a terrible day, it has to be said.


Michal Kwiatkowski of OPQS led the main group over the line 20 seconds down for third place. Another commanding ride by the young Pole.


Dan Martin (Garmin) punches the air - that's his first ever victory on the Tour de France. He won by two bike lengths over Jakob Fuglsang of Astana.


Martin makes his move just ahead of a chicane in the road... and he holds off Fuglsang to take the win!


They have come to a near standstill as they start the mind games...


Under the banner for the leading duo, who attacked on the final climb of the day. Fuglsang is on the front, looking over his shoulder at Martin...


Two kilometres to go and the gap is still 30 seconds. Astana and Garmin are both looking for their first stage win on the race...


Yes, Dan Martin and Jakob Fuglsang will hold on to contest the victory it seems. The gap is just not coming down.


Now Belkin are back on the front, with a line rider from Cofidis - looks like Navarro. But the gap is 32 seconds.


The gap has gone back to 30 seconds as Kreuziger and Schleck pull slightly clear on the front of the chase.


Sean Kelly reckons it's going to be difficult for Martin and Fuglsang to hold on... Back with the pack, it's Belkin who lead the chase, eager for a win for Mollema, Gesink or Ten Dam.


It's down to just 25 seconds for the two leaders now, who are onto the level run-in after the downhill.


Kwiatkowski is back with the main group, 37 seconds down on the two leaders. Martin, winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the sprint, would be your bet if this came down to a two-way sprint at the finish.


Michal Kwiatkowski of OPQS is not only back with the main group, he's now riding solo in pursuit of the two leaders. The young Pole is such a prospect. He's 30 seconds down on Martin and Fuglsang.


Fuglsang and Martin are 42 seconds to the good over the yellow jersey group. After all the fireworks, it looks like today will end in a stalemate for the GC favourites.


Rui Costa opens up a small gap and edges in front of a TV motorbike - but he's now back with the main group.


The two leaders are up and over that short final uphill segment, now it's downhill all the way to the finish.


Richie Porte is now riding with Ryder Hesjedal more than 10 minutes behind.


We're onto a short uphill stretch before the final downhill. Martin and Fuglsang have 50 seconds over the peloton, with Poels in pursuit. Quintana still leads the main pack - but it loosk like Movistar have missed their golden opportunity.


We now have that decisive downhill towards the finish in Bagneres-de-Bigorre... Will anyone try to put pressure on Froome on the downhill?


Dan Martin crosses the summit in the lead ahead of Jakob Fuglsang. Poels comes over 33 seconds behind and 10 seconds ahead of the main pack.


ATTACK: Wout Pouls of Vacansoleil jumps clear. The Dutchman has been lurking for a bit - and as he's nine minutes down on GC, he's allowed to ride clear.


Martin is 2:48 down on GC and Fuglsang is 3:37 down - so they are not a huge threat at the moment for Froome.


Valverde and Quintana are chatting - probably plotting their next move. They have Rui Costa with them too.


Another attack from Quintana! That has whittled down the pack, but we still have around 15 riders - all the big guns - in this group. Leading duo Martin and Fuglsang have 15 seconds over the yellow jersey group.


Kreuziger and Schleck are now riding on the front - it's nice to see Schleck seemingly competitive again after all his problems.


A third attack from Quintana! That came just after Ten Dam had a go. Once again, Froome meets his match. Schleck, Evans, Contador, Valverde, Mollema, Kreuziger are still there in this group of around 15. Rodriguez too.


Dan Martin and Jakob Fuglsang attack, with Mikel Nieve following. There's no reply from the main GC favourites - until Quintana puts in another stinging attack.


The Colombian's attack does nothing but make a selection. Froome reacts first before Contador and Valverde latch on. Some Movistar riders are shed, but the others are still there: Belkin's Dutch duo, Rodriguez, Evans et al.


ATTACK: Nairo Quintana makes his move!


The main pack is 5km from the summit.


Richie Porte is now more than five minutes in arrears. He'll drop out of the top five today - perhaps even the top ten.


Euskaltel's Igor Anton and Ion Izagirre have both been dropped, as has Saxo's Michael Rogers. Movistar have two riders on the front, with Valverde in their wheels. Quintana is a bit further back, in the wheel of Froome. White tracing yellow.


Bardet looks over his shoulder, and he would have seen the yellow helmets of the Movistar army. It's all over for the youngster...


That's it for Clarke. So, just the one man ahead: Ag2R-La Mondiale's Romain Bardet, who has a handful of seconds over the pack. Talansky and Kwiatkowski have been dropped.


Clarke and De Clercq are now caught - although Clarke is having nothing of it and tried to power clear once again. The crowds are pretty impressive out there on the sides of the road.


Bardet has 15 seconds on the pack and he's enjoying himself out there. This sill be great experience for the 22-year-old. Rolland has been distanced by the pack. Meanwhile, the Porte group is riding four minutes off behind.


Romain Bardet has attacked! And the other escapees have thrown in the towel. Rolland sits up and is caught by the pack.


We're onto the final climb of the day, that Cat.1 La Hourquette d’Ancizan - 9.9km at 7.5%.


Chris Froome is getting some food on board - either a cereal bar or energy gel. Despite being isolated, he's held his own well today. Movistar have strength in numbers, but they haven't been able to take advantage of that.


Romain Bardet chats to his team car - he's been seriously impressive in the mountains this year. The leading trio have just 40 seconds on the main pack, still been driven by Movistar's Castroviejo. Jan Bakelants has just been caught. We're on a short flat segment ahead of the final climb of the day.


After that slight ressurrection at the start of the last climb, Richie Porte is back in the wars. He crossed the summit 3:48 back and so has dropped further behind. He'll lose his second place tonight, that's for sure.


Narrow roads for this descent. It's going to be a very exciting finale today...


Clarke has been caught by Bardet, De Clercq and Rolland. The man in polka dots is keeping a bit of a gap on the descent - he doesn't like the downhills.


Chris Froome is keeping near the front on this descent - he's in third place and keen not to get caught out. His main group are 55 seconds down on Clarke, the lone leader.


Simon Clarke takes the points over the top, with Pierre Rolland crossing in second place 20 seconds later. The peloton come over, grappling few fresh bidons of water, at 1:04.


Australian Simon Clarke has one kilometre left to climb before he reaches the summit. His three pursuers are about 20 seconds down. Movistar still lead the pack, which rolls along at 1:10.


Castroviejo, the Spanish time trial champion, still drives the pace for Movistar on the front of the yellow jersey group. It looks like they are going to wait until the final climb and/or descent before attacking.


Clarke has 20 seconds over the chasing trio of Rolland, Bardet and De Clercq. The peloton rides at 1:30. Porte has caught and passed Amador and Erviti.


Richie Porte looks like a new man - whatever was in that musette of his for lunch certainly did the trick. He's riding solo and slowly swallowing up riders in front of him.


Evans and Dan Martin are near the front of the main group, with Movistar's Valverde and Quintana poised. Belkin duo Mollema and Ten Dam are there, ahead of Contador who looks on the ropes. Rodriguez is there too, in this pack of around 25. Europcar have two riders here - Davide Malacarne and Cyril Gautier.


Andrey Talansky has been dropped by the main group, while Movistar begin to shed bodies, with Erviti and Amador off the back. There is a big thinning out happening now. Richie Porte is 1:45 down on the yellow jersey group, so he's fighting back, but it may be too late.


Hesjedal and Bakelants have been dropped by the leaders as Rolland, Bardet and De Clercq ride clear in pursuit of Clarke. This is 22-year-old Bardet's first Tour and tonight he'll be the best placed Frenchman.


Movistar still have six riders on the front of the main group - and you'd expect them to launch an attack soon.


Further back, Richie Porte has dropped Kennaugh and now rides solo in pursuit of the main group. He's having a very tough day after yesterday's heroics.


Pierre Rolland takes a bottle of water from a spectator and pours it over his head. It's hot out there.


Thomas De Gendt is now being caught - once again -by the main pack, which is being driven by Movistar through Castroviejo, Amador and Plaza.


Lone leader Simon Clarke is onto the fourth - and penultimate - climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col de Val Louron-Azet - 7.4km at 8.3%.


The main pack pass through the feed zone. Orica-GreenEdge rider Clarke now has 1:40 over the yellow jersey group.


Simon Clarke has caught and passed the leaders on the descent. The Australian is now onto a slight uphill stretch ahead of the next climb having picked up a musette from his team car. The riders will all need to eat loads as well drink - or they will bonk big time in this heat.


Europcar's Davide Malacarne has come to the front of the yellow jersey group on the descent. That's unexpected. De Gendt has been dropped - once again - by the leaders on this long downhill. The leaders have 50 seconds over the yellow jersey group - and we have two more climbs to go.


De Clercq, Hesjedal, Bardet and Bakelants crossed the summit a little after the leading duo, with the main pack crossing 44 seconds later. Porte crosses almost three minutes down.


Pierre Rolland thought he had the KOM points secure, but he was caught out by Thomas De Gendt, who put in a late attack to cross the summit in pole position. Back with the main group, Ruben Plaza put in a little acceleration before the top.


Richie Porte is riding two minutes down on the yellow jersey group in the wheel of Peter Kennaugh, who crashed into a ditch earlier.


Movistar have six riders on the front, with Amador setting the pace with a deadpan expression, and Castroviejo in his wheel, grimacing like he's being tortured for some heinous crime.


Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge has attacked from the Movistar-led pack in a bid to join the leaders. The Australian is probably thinking about the KOM points.


Richie Porte is going to lose double figures of minutes today - he's currently off the back of a fourth group, riding alongside Saxo Bank's Matteo Tosatto, which says it all.


De Gendt has been dropped again by the leading group, which has just 30 seconds over the main pack.


Movistar's Andrey Amador sets the pace in the main pack, with Plaza in his wheel. White jersey Nairo Quintana is third, with yellow jersey Chris Froome in his wheel and ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador, who rides in a huddle of his Saxo-Tinkoff team-mates.


The temperature is pretty sweltering out there - early 30s now. Today's stage couldn't be more different than yesterday, which Sky totally dominated. Today, Sky aren't anywhere to be seen, Froome is isolated, and it's Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff who are pulling the strings.


Jan Bakelants has joined the five leaders, so we have six in front now. They still have 5km to ride until the summit of this climb, and just 45 seconds to play with.


Former yellow jersey Jan Bakelants pulls clear of Vichot and Geschke. Meanwhile, De Gendt has had a second wind, and is riding up to the wheels of the leading quartet, so we're back to five out ahead: Bardet, Rolland, Hesjedal, De Clercq and De Gendt. They have 55 seconds over the yellow jersey pack.


Movistar may be cranking up the pace on the front of the main pack, but one of their riders - Ivan Gutierrez - has just abandoned. Saxo Bank's Benjamin Noval has also retired.


Thomas De Gendt is about to be caught by the Vichot trio. Vichot has his French national champions jersey unzipped and catching in the wind. It's drenched in sweat.


The group chasing back on containing Richie Porte are another 1:20 back. The Australian is not having a good day out there. He has three Sky team-mates with him - Boasson Hagen, Kennaugh and Kiryienka.


Movistar and Saxo are on the front for the main group, with yellow jersey Chris Froome there, but without any Sky team-mates.


Ryder Hesjdal drives the pace in the leading group. The Canadian from Garmin is wearing some retro white-rimmed sun glasses. He's with Pierre Rolland (Europcar), the polka dot jersey, youngster Romain Bardet (AgrR), and Bart de Clercq (Lotto Belisol)


Saxo-Tinkoff's Nicolas Roche has been dropped, his work for the day done. Just before the intermediate sprint, French national champion Arthur Vichot attacked the yellow jersey group in pursuit of the leaders. He took Jan Bakelants and Simon Geschke with him.


We're onto the third climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col de Peyresourde - 13.2km at 7%. Thomas De Gendt is dropped almost instantly from the leading group.


Richie Porte is doing his best to get back with his team-mate Froome. He has Boasson Hagen, Kiryienka and Kennaugh with him, it seems. They have two minutes to make up.


The riders have just passed through Bagneres-de-Luchon, which is where Thomas Voeckler won his second stage last year. The Rolland quintet have 1:07 over the yellow jersey pack.


So, the situation has finally calmed down a little - in that there are no longer multiple groups on the road. We have five leaders who are 1:10 ahead of the main yellow jersey group, in which Froome is completely isolated - because his Sky team-mates, including Richie Porte, ar riding another two minutes back in a large chasing group.


Thomas De Gendt leads the five escapees over the intermediate sprint in pole position ahead of polka dot jersey Pierre Rolland.


The Contador group has almost caugh the Froome group. Meanwhile, Bauke Mollema has a flat and need a new back wheel. Bad timing - it's all kicking off.


Michael Rogers has slowed down and dropped back to the Contador chasing group, which now has five Saxo riders. They ride 16 seconds down on the Froome quartet, which has just caught the big group further up the road. There are five more riders out ahead - Rolland, Hesjedal, De Gendt, Danielson and Bardet.


Castroviejo has dropped back from the leading group to help pace Valverde and Plaza - so Froome is now riding with three Movistar riders, 55 seconds down on the leaders.


So, the leading group is: Gallopin, De Gendt, Bardet, Rolland, Kreuziger, Losada, Trofimov, Anton, Izagirre, Castroviejo, Costa, Hesjedal, Danielson and Talansky. The chasing trio of Froome, Valverde and Plaza are 45 seconds down, and then the main pack, containing Evans, Malacarne, Quintana, Peraud, Contador, Rodriguez, Schleck, Mollema, Ten Dam and Geschke are another 15 seconds down.


Saxo's Nicolas Roche is leading the chase for the main pack, with Contador a few riders back. Belkin's Mollema is there. It looks like Evans is back in the pack as well, and Schleck is there too.


Yellow jersey Chris Froome manages to close the gap on Valverde and Plaza! That was impressive by the isolated Sky rider. The upshot is that Contador is now riding further back down the road - the Saxo-Tinkoff man did not react to that acceleration.


Pierre Rolland has ridden off the front with Danielson... but back in the yellow jersey group, Movistar have attacked through Valverde and Plaza! Sensational stuff on this flat drag towards the third climb.


We now have around 10 riders up front after the chasing group caught the five leaders. They have 1:10 over the yellow jersey group, and Froome looks like he's seen a ghost. This will be the hardest day of his career, for sure.


There's some disputing going on in the leading group, who have one minute over the yellow jersey group. But a counter attack formed on the descent, including Roman Kreuziger. It's all happening.


Cadel Evans had almost caught the yellow jersey group - solid chasing back by the Austrailan veteran.


The withdrawal of Muravyev means Astana are down to just 5 riders following the withdrawals of Brajkovic, Kashechkin and Kessiakoff.


Astana's Dmitriy Muravyev has retired from the race. The Kazakh was in trouble as soon as the first climb started this morning...


Five riders are out ahead on this descent - Danielson, Hesjedal, Rolland, Anton and Trofimov. They have 27 seconds on the main yellow jersey group, which caught Costa shortly after the summit.


The changing point today was when Peter Kennaugh rode off the road and into a ditch. From that point onwards, Sky were down on numbers and Froome became isolated. We have a video of the incident here... (for online readers)


Just before the summit, moments after Valverde and Contador finished their chat, Movistar's Rui Costa went on the attack. It's really the law of the jungle today - Froome is going to have to withstand multiple attacks by all his rivals. Costa is only 2:45 down on GC, in 11th place.


Danielson crosses the summit in pole position ahead of team-mate Hesjedal, with Trofimov just behind. The yellow jersey group passes 20 seconds later. Evans is still 35 seconds back, and Richie Porte another minute in arrears.


Movistar have about five riders here in the main group - Quintana, Valverde, Costa, Plaza and Gutierriez. They will have a role to play. And look - Contador and Valverde ar chatting... they are going to form a Spanish alliance today.


ATTACK: Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin edges clear of the peloton, sparking a response by Igor Anton and Pierre Rolland.


Jesus Hernandez drives the pace for Saxo-Tinkoff, with Alberto Contador in his wheel. Further back in the same group, the Spaniard has Michael Rogers and Roman Kreuziger. They have a big advantage today. Froome is talking to his DS on the radio.


Two riders are clear of the yellow jersey group: Tom Danielson (Garmin) and Yuri Trofimov (Katusha). Evans is being paced back to the main group by Steve Morabito. They're 35 seconds down after that mechanical problem for the 2011 champion.


Porte is riding with compatriot Simon Gerrans - he's already one minute down on the yellow jersey group.


Richie Porte has cracked! He's gone and Froome has no Sky team-mates left. There are four Saxo-Tinkoff riders, including Contador and Kreuziger. This is going to be a huge test for the yellow jersey... and we still have four more climbs.


Cadel Evans is having a shocker - he was regaining ground, but has had to change his bike, and will face an uphill task now - quite literally.


We're on to the second climb of the day, the Cat.1 Col de Menté - 7km at 7.7%.


Around 15 riders have about 15 seconds on the yellow jersey group. It includes Danielson and Martin, as well as Izagirre and the polka dot jersey Rolland.


Cadel Evans has been distanced - he's about 40 secodns down on the yellow jersey group. Thibaut Pinot of FDJ has also been dropped.


A bit of order has returned, with Froome and Porte leading the main pack with the white jersey of Quintana and his Movistar team-mate Valverde on their wheels.


Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel) and Tom Danielson (Garmin) have joined Jeannesson and Morabito on the front. Back with the main pack, Roman Kreuziger of Saxo-Tinkoff attacks - and is tracked by Porte and Froome.


BMC's Steve Morabito has joined Arnold Jeannesson on the descent, with the main pack just behind. It looks like Richie Porte has managed to return alongside Chris Froome, so perhaps he had a mechanical or needed to take a call of nature. He may have simply found that first climb tricky after yesterday's exertions...


FDJ's Arnold Jeannesson crosses the top of the summit in first place just ahead of Dan Martin and Tom Danielson, both of Garmin. Garmin have been very active so far today. Froome had to close down that break himself, but now another faction has formed just off the front. Fascinating stuff.


Froome, the yellow jersey, has no Sky team mates with him any more. This is incredible. David Lopez has blown. There isn't even any sign of Richie Porte - this is quite incredible. It's Froome, the maillot jaune, who is leading the chase on his own.


Talansky and Martin are 12th and 13th on GC, both 2:48 down on leader Chris Froome. He won't be too happy to see them ride clear. The Garmin duo have numerous riders trying to follow them, including Maxim Montfort of RadioShack and Movistar's Plaza. Rolland, it seems, has dropped back. Off the back of the peloton, all the sprinters are in difficulty, with Cavendish and Greipel already grimacing and riding in isolation. It's going to be a long day for them...


Rolland and Plaza are caught by the chasing group, who have two Garmin riders setting the pace: Andrew Talansky and Dan Martin.


This leading group only has 50 metres on the peloton, prompting Plaza to go on the attack. Polka dot jersey Rolland follows him, so we have two out in front, with the Sky-led peloton closing in on the break.


With Kennaugh recovering from that crash, Chris Froome is down to just three Sky team-mates on the front of the peloton. Numerous riders are off the back already - while there is a group of around 20 up the road, including Europcar pair Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier, and Movistar's Ruben Plaza.


CRASH: Peter Kennaugh of Team Sky has a nasty fall. The youngster crashes on the side of the road, then falls off the grass verge and disappears into a ditch. He manages to climb back up, but he has a nasty gash on his elbow and looks a bit shaken by that - understandably.


We're on to the first climb of the day, the Col de Portet d’Aspet - 5.4km at 6.9%. Bauer and Millar have been caught by a group of around 12 riders.


Sylvain Chavanel, with his orange bike, has jumped clear of the peloton in pursuit of that chasing group... but it all comes back together again - with just the two Garmin riders out in front.


The road is heading upwards now - and Bauer is the first to feel it. Millar rides clear, then slows and waits for his team-mate. Back with the bunch, a chasing group has formed under the instigation of that man Peter Sagan, in the green jersey... He's clearly thinkin about the intermediate sprint points that come after the first two climbs.


It's over for Van Garderen and Geschke, who are swallowed up by the peloton. But the Garmin duo still have 25 seconds over the peloton.


Tejay van Garderen - who lost a huge 12 minutes yesterday - has jumped clear of the Sky-led peloton in pursuit of the Garmin duo. None of these riders are a threat to Chris Froome's yellow jersey and so they aren't too concerned. Van Garderen is joined, however, by Simon Geschke of Argos-Shimano.


GARMIN ATTACK: Team-mates Jack Bauer and David Millar power off the front!


Roy is joined by a GreenEdge rider, but they are bring swallowed back up by a counter attack involving a Europcar rider. Very cagy start to the stage...


The latest attack comes from a FDJ rider in blue. It's Jeremy Roy.


Numerous attempts to break away have been made, but nothing is sticking for the moment.


The peloton is having nothing of it and the three escapees are reeled back in.


ATTACK: From the outset, Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) breaks clear of the bunch with Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) and Laurent Didier (RadioShack).


They're under way! No overnight withdrawals to report so we have 187 riders taking to the start today.


The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone at the start of today's monstrous stage. It's another hot day in the Pyrenees, but the temperature is a bit lower at 25 degrees Celsius and there are a few clouds in the sky.


Nairo Quintana is the race's new white jersey as best young rider on GC. The Colombian leads Andrew Talansky, the American from Garmin-Sharp by 46 seconds, with Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step dropping to third place at 1:23.


There was one intermediate sprint yesterday before the mountains, with a break of four mopping up the highest points. But Andre Greipel came through to take fifth place ahead of Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish. It's Cannondale's Sagan who leads the green jersey competition quite comprehensively with a 93-point lead over Lotto-Belisol's Greipel, with Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Cavendish a further 13 points back.


Froome also leads the king of the mountain competition, level on 31 points with Frenchman Pierre Rolland. The Europcar climber crossed the penultimate climb of yesterday's stage, the Col de Pailheres, in second place behind Nairo Quintana, but finished well down on the final ascent to the finish. He wears the polka dots once again because Froome will be in yellow. Porte is third in the competition on 28 points, while Quintana is fourth on 25.


With his second ever Tour de France stage victory, Chris Froome moved to the top of the standings with a 51-second lead over his team-mate Richie Porte. Third in the pack is Alejandro Valverde, at 1:25, while Froome's big pre-race rival, Alberto Contador, is in seventh place, 1:51 adrift.


Yesterday, Team Sky blew the race apart with a devastating one-two from race favourite Chris Froome and Richie Porte. The duo spat out their rivals on the final climb to Ax 3 Domaines, with Briton Froome soloing to success 51secs ahead of his Australian team-mate. Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was third at 1:08 ahead of Belkin's Dutch duo Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam. Alberto Contador of Saxo-Tinkoff lost 1:45 while the likes of Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck finished 4mins back.


Welcome to live coverage of stage nine of the Tour de France - a 168.5km slog from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre through the high mountains. It's the toughest test of the Tour so far, with a succession of five peaks (four of which are Cat.1) before a fast and furious 30km to the finish.