Carlos Sastre did well in the 160-kilometre ninth stage of Tour de France from Val-d'Isère to Briançon. As Team CSC reports on their website, team-csc.com, the Spanish rider was tenth in the stage and advanced to seventh place overall.
The stage was quite hectic thanks to an early break with several dangerous riders as well as a fast pace in the peloton set by the Rabobank crew. As a result the peloton was split several times and numerous riders were dropped as the different groups were remodeled.
Sastre stayed in the best of the favourites's groups the whole way through except for a few kilometres towards the finish line, where the group was split in two, but they eventually came back together.
In the end Barloworld's Colombian Juan Mauricio Soler took a great victory, while Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen hung on to the yellow jersey. Sastre is 3'39" behind him, but only 1'04" behind Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) in second place. Fränk Schleck finished a couple of minutes later along with Christian Vande Velde and is now 13th overall.
"Carlos did great today. He's feeling better and better. Fränk wasn't able to stay up front today, but that might mean that he'll be allowed to escape in the next couple of days. He had great help from Vande Velde out there and the whole team is looking really good, actually, so I think it'll be a successful second half of Tour de France for us," said Kim Andersen.