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Stage 9 of the Tour de France: Torges wins the gravel stage in Troyes

Stage 9 of the Tour de France: Torges wins the gravel stage in Troyes

As of: July 7, 2024 at 7:59 PM

Frenchman Anthony Torges won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on the cobblestone roads leading to Troyes. Tadej Pogacar defended the overall leader's yellow jersey.

The 30-year-old TotalEnergies rider won the small breakaway group sprint in Troyes on Sunday (July 7, 2024) ahead of British Olympic mountain bike champion Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Canadian Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech).

The tough stage took place over a 199-kilometre circuit with a start and finish in Troyes and several sectors over a total distance of 32.2 kilometres on partially gravel roads.

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Pogacar continues in yellow

The yellow jersey was held by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), who repeatedly attacked his rivals to no avail. The two-time Tour champion Pogacar was well prepared. Just in the spring, the 25-year-old won the Strade Bianche cobblestone race, an impressive 82-kilometre individual race.

At the end of a long-awaited exchange of blows between the big four, Pogacar, defending champion Jonas Vingegaard, world champion Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic reached the finish line in Troyes side by side, 1:46 minutes behind the day’s winner. Two-time Tour champion Pogacar still held a 33-second lead over Belgian time trial world champion Evenepoel before the first rest day. Vingegaard (1:15) and Roglic (1:36) were behind them.

Vingeaard deftly on unknown cobblestone terrain

22 kilometers from the finish, Pogacar launched a sharp attack, but thanks to his strong co-drivers, Vingegaard managed to catch up, so that the favorite group was back together again. During the stage, Evenepoel also tried to attack – to no avail.

The alert Dane was able to feel like a moral victor. Unlike his rivals, he had taken to the slopes without any knowledge of the route. When the Visma team explored the terrain in May, the Dane was still suffering from the consequences of a serious fall during a Tour of the Basque Country.

First show of gravel without dangerous falls – rest day on Monday

This was the first time in the history of the Tour that cobblestones were included in the programme. After several cobblestone sections of Paris-Roubaix had been included in the route in the past, another element had now been added in the quest for more scenery.

The riders were clearly struggling with this. On the steep and sometimes narrow sections, quite a few professional riders had to get out of the saddle and walk a short distance. However, there were largely no falls – with the exception of Roglic’s co-driver Alexander Vlasov, who fell into a ditch 40 kilometres from the finish but managed to continue. The weather also cooperated after the riders initially had to contend with wet and cold conditions.

On Monday, the Tour will give the peloton its first rest day, after which the next mass sprint should follow in the tenth stage between Orleans and Saint-Amand-Montrond (187.3 km).

Peloton pays tribute to late Drej before start

Ahead of Sunday's stage nine, the peloton paid tribute to the late professional rider Andre Dregue.

The drivers of the Norwegian Uno X team appeared united on the front row on Sunday with black armbands. Only behind them did the jersey-wearers around Tadej Pogacar, who finished first in the overall standings, place themselves. The Norwegian rider fell on the descent from the Großglockner on Saturday during the Austrian round held at the same time. He died from his injuries.

The 25-year-old captained the continental team Coop Repsol. In Uno X there are a total of seven Norwegians on the tour, some of whom are close friends of Drege.

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