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On the start line in Morzine-Avoriaz

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Great weather at the start of the ninth stage in Morzine

Great weather at the start of the ninth stage in Morzine
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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George Hincapie (BMC) ready for a long of defending the yellow jersey

George Hincapie (BMC) ready for a long of defending the yellow jersey
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Denis Menchov is ready to receive his price for the team's strong performance of last Sunday

Denis Menchov is ready to receive his price for the team's strong performance of last Sunday
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Manuel Quinziato

Manuel Quinziato
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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A lot of cheers were heared when David Millar rolled towards the start

A lot of cheers were heared when David Millar rolled towards the start
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Carlos Sastre gets ready for a hard mountains stage

Carlos Sastre gets ready for a hard mountains stage
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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The peloton lines up at the start

The peloton lines up at the start
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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At the FDJ stand, Christophe Le Mével talks to his former team-mate from Crédit Agricole Francesco Bellotti and Wesley Sulzberger

At the FDJ stand, Christophe Le Mével talks to his former team-mate from Crédit Agricole Francesco Bellotti and Wesley Sulzberger
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Michael Barry on the start line of Morzine exactly at the place where Floyd Landis won at the 2006 Tour de France before going to dope control...

Michael Barry on the start line of Morzine exactly at the place where Floyd Landis won at the 2006 Tour de France before going to dope control...
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Race boss Christian Prudhomme and Thor Hushovd meet at the start

Race boss Christian Prudhomme and Thor Hushovd meet at the start
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Maxime Monfort got the permission to leave the Tour during the rest to go and see his new born baby girl Lou but he was back at work in Morzine

Maxime Monfort got the permission to leave the Tour during the rest to go and see his new born baby girl Lou but he was back at work in Morzine
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Riders getting ready on the start line

Riders getting ready on the start line
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Robert Gesink and Maarten Tjallingii have a laugh on the start podium

Robert Gesink and Maarten Tjallingii have a laugh on the start podium
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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It's not a day for the likes of Alessandro Petacchi

It's not a day for the likes of Alessandro Petacchi
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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George Hincapie rolls into town

George Hincapie rolls into town
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Luis Leon Sanchez is ready for an active stage

Luis Leon Sanchez is ready for an active stage
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Alessandro Ballan with a fan

Alessandro Ballan with a fan
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Patrick Lefevre and Jean-François Pescheux have a chat before the start

Patrick Lefevre and Jean-François Pescheux have a chat before the start
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Lance Armstrong heads to the sign-on

Lance Armstrong heads to the sign-on
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Sylvain Chavanel, former wearer of the maillot jaune.

Sylvain Chavanel, former wearer of the maillot jaune.
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Lance Armstrong isn't sporting any bandages after his crashes

Lance Armstrong isn't sporting any bandages after his crashes
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Jerôme Pineau promised he would try to get into the breakaway to protect his climber's jersey

Jerôme Pineau promised he would try to get into the breakaway to protect his climber's jersey
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Danilo Hondo was in a good mood

Danilo Hondo was in a good mood
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Linus Gerdemann and Jurgen Roelandts grab as many energy bars as they can

Linus Gerdemann and Jurgen Roelandts grab as many energy bars as they can
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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With former yellow jersey Pascal Lino, tennis player Nicolas Mahut who played the longest game ever in Wimbledon two weeks ago.

With former yellow jersey Pascal Lino, tennis player Nicolas Mahut who played the longest game ever in Wimbledon two weeks ago.
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)

Following the first rest day in Morzine on Monday, the Tour de France peloton gathered in the Alpine mountain town for today's 204.5km ninth stage from Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

The riders looked happier and rested after a testing first week on the cobbles and early climbs of the race. But many were nervous because they faced a tough stage in the mountains with four major climbs.

Cadel Evans posed for a special photograph with his BMC teammates in his yellow jersey. Evans swapped his rainbow jersey for yellow and also had a matching BMC bike and helmet. Instead of the yellow shorts, Evans went for a classic look, matching his usual black shorts with the Tour de France leader's jersey.

Evans' left elbow was strapped in bright blue tape but he admitted that his injuries were not as bad as when he crashed in the 2008 Tour de France and eventually lost the yellow jersey.

Other overall contenders like Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) looked nervous about the outcome of the stage. The sprinters, like Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) were also worried. They will have make sure they finish inside the time cut if they want to contest a likely sprint in Bourg les Valance on Thursday.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) was one of the happiest riders at the start. He has been ill for most of the first week but hardly got out of bed on Monday and seemed back on form. Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) also looked to have recovered from his crashes and joined Cadel Evans on the start line in Morzine.

A total of 181 riders started the stage, with Vladimir Karpets (Katusha), Simon Gerrans (Team Sky), Roger Kluge (Milram) and Fabio Felline (Footon-Servetto) the four non-starters. Felline was the youngest rider in this year's Tour de France at just 20 but has now headed home to Italy.