Irishman Daniel Martin won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday after a day of climbing through the Pyrenees, from Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Britain's Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey.
Irishman Dan Martin won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday after a dramatic day of racing in the Pyrenees saw yellow jersey holder Chris Froome forced to dig deep to defend his race lead.
Martin, of the Garmin team, came over the finish with his arms in triumph after beating Dane Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) in a two-up sprint.
- Tour de France stage 21: Versailles and its secret garden.
- Tour de France stage 20: Gone fishing in Lac d’Annecy
- Tour de France stage 19: Reblochon cheese in Grand-Bornand
- Tour de France stage 18: the Alpe d’Huez and its 21 hairpin bends
- Tour de France stage 17: Chorges, a town that takes the sting out of beekeeping
- Tour de France stage 16: the medieval town of Vaison-la-Romaine
- Tour de France stage 15: vineyards below the Mont Ventoux
- Tour de France stage 14: Lyon, France's food capital
- Tour de France stage 13: Chateau de Chenonceau, the women’s castle seen from top to bottom
- Tour de France stage 12: Tours, the cavemen of the Loire Valley
- Tour de France stage 11: Le Mont Saint-Michel, the hidden side of the western wonder
- Tour de France stage 10: Saint Malo, a town of privateers not pirates!
- Tour de France rest day: a bird's eye view of the Guérande salt marshes
- Tour de France stage 9: dancing in the hills of Bethmale
- Tour de France stage 6: A bird’s eye view of Cézanne’s mountain
- Tour de France stage 5: Marseille, capital of French boules
- Tour de France stage 1: Bonifacio, a town on a cliff edge
- Tour de France stage 4: Nice is nice, even in the rain
- Tour de France stage 3: Picturesque Piana
- Tour de France stage 2: Tasting Bocognano's famous charcuterie
Froome and all the race favourites arrived 19sec later although the Kenyan-born Briton was the sole surviving member of a Sky team over the 168.5km race from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre.
Post-race speculation on Saturday, when Richie Porte finished the first day in the Pyrenees second overall at only 51sec behind Froome, suggested Sky could aim for a second consecutive 1-2 finish in Paris on July 21.
However, the Australian was the main casualty of a frantic start to the race, and an even more concerted effort to drop him later on, as teams appeared to collude in an attempt to drop him down the standings and boost their own hopes.
Porte, the 2013 Paris-Nice champion, was over 11 minutes in arrears when Froome came over the finish line alongside rivals Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans among others.
It meant Valverde, whose Movistar team were protagonists on most of the day's five categorised mountain climbs, has moved up to second place, only 1min 25sec behind Froome.
Bauke Mollema (Belkin) moved up to third overall ahead of fellow-Dutchman and teammate Laurens Ten Dam, while Spain's two-time winner Contador moved up one place to sixth at 1:51 off the pace.
Martin's maiden win on the race, a few months after he lifted his biggest race at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, put the Irishman into the top 10 where he is eighth overall at 2:28.
He is from solid cycling stock, being the nephew of former Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and world champion Stephen Roche.
Date created : 2013-07-10