Fan’s cardboard banner causes huge Tour de France crash

We are back in Tignes for the Tour de France, two years after the race had to be suddenly suspended due to a mudslide on the road, and the peloton never reached the finish. It proved decisive as the yellow jersey saw a switch from Julian Alaphilippe to Egan Bernal, who went on to win, but this time around the irrepressible Tadej Pogacar is in the maillot jaune and looking extremely well-placed for success.

Pogacar produced a stunning display on stage 8 and opened up a gap of 1min 46sec ahead of Wout van Aert at the top of the standings. He is around five minutes on his most realistic rivals, including Alexey Lutsenko, Rigoberto Uran, Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas. The question now is surely by how much, rather than if, Pogacar will retain his crown.

Stage 9 is the final stint before Monday’s first rest day and it is another brute in the Alps. There are five categorised climbs scattered through the 145km route from Cluses to Tignes, with the hors categorie Col du Pre in the middle before a 21km drag up to the summit finish.


Ben O’Connor wins stage nine of the Tour de France

1. Ben O’Connor

2. Mattia Cattaneo, +5’07’’

3. Sonny Colbrelli, + 5’34’

4. Guillaume Martin, +5’36’’

5. Franck Bonnamour, +6’02’’

Tadej Pogacar, 6th, retains the yellow jersey

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:47


Ben O’Connor wins stage nine of the Tour de France

There is a huge gap between O’Connor and the rest of the field. Pogacar finishes six minutes behind O’Connor to retain the yellow jersey.

Italians Cattaneo and Colbrelli finish in second and third, while Quintana and Higuita are nowhere to be seen.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:44


Ben O’Connor wins stage nine of the Tour de France!

What a win for the Australian! He is embraced by his team moments after crossing the line.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:38


Tour de France stage 9 – 2 km to go

O’Connor is starting to suffer as he reaches the top of the climb, but he can enjoy these moments as he edges closer to a stunning stage victory.

Carapaz makes a late attack, and Pogacar follows before bursting clear! He will retain the yellow jersey thanks to this late push.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:35


Tour de France stage 9 – 3 km to go

O’Connor is still going strong, as Cattaneo continues his late push to take second from Quintana. O’Connor’s gap to Pogacar is 7:45 with 1.5km of climb to go.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:30


Tour de France stage 9 – 5 km to go

O’Connor’s lead is coming down following Ineos attack, as Pogacar follows the move. The gap from Pogacar to O’Connor is back to under eight minutes, but the Ineos attack does not look that convincing. You get the sense that Pogacar could go for this if he wanted to, but isn’t.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:27


Tour de France stage 9 – 6 km to go

Team Ineos have attacked, in an apparent move to protect Richard Carapaz’s place in the GC standings. Will Pogacar go with them?

Mattia Cattaneo has made a move to take over Higuita into third.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:23


Tour de France stage 9 – 7 km to go

O’Connor again moves up into the virtual lead of the GC. The magic number here is 8:13, which is the gap Pogacar had over O’Connor at the start of the day. But the Australian will also receive a bonus 10 seconds if he wins today’s stage.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:21


Tour de France stage 9 – 8 km to go

O’Connor’s lead over Pogacar has again increased to over eight minutes – so he could yet still claim the yellow jersey with six kilometres of climb to come.

Quintana has passed Higuita into second. Higuita seems to have blown up on this climb.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:18


Tour de France stage 9 – 10 km to go

O’Connor is cruising here, but the steepest section of the ascent to Tignes is still to come. Pogacar is 7:50 behind, giving the Slovenian a 40-second lead in the GC as it stands.

Jamie Braidwood4 July 2021 16:14

Source: The Independent

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