Live coverage of a hugely important day in the fight for the yellow jersey.
Hello there, and welcome to Cyclingnews' live race centre for full rolling coverage of stage 9 of the Tour de France.
You join us on one of the most critical, one of the most mouthwatering, days of this year's Tour. 181.5 kilometres, seven categorised climbs - three of them hors-cat - and more than 5000 metres of altitude gain. You have the profile above and you only have to glance at it to know that this is a brute of a stage.
The riders and crowds have all gathered in Nantua and we're currently going through the pre-race motions - sign-on, coffee, haircuts etc. The riders will roll out of the start town at 11.45 local time, and 10 minutes later Christian Prudhomme will emerge from his red car, wave his flag, and the stage will be underway. That much, I can predict. After that, it's anyone's guess.
First things first, check out our stage 9 preview, featuring a video run-through and insight from Phil Anderson.
@BORAhansgrohe Sun, 9th Jul 2017 09:03:28
As Bora point out, the stage climbs from the gun, with a short cat-2 climb followed immediately by a third-cat climb. No one will want to be caught cold, and that's why there are plenty of riders out on the rollers and turbos outside the team buses this morning.
This is how things stand on GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 33:19:10
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:25
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:43
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:52
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:54
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:01
Let's talk about the Mont du Chat
It hasn't featured in the Tour since Eddy Merckx was famously dropped there in 1974, but you may remember it from last month's Dauphiné, and the finale of today's stage is almost identical to that day - up the punishing western face and down the white-knuckle ride to the Lac du Bourget. The only difference is there is another 10km or so of flat roads to the finish line today.
Romain Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team know the Mont du Chat well, with their base and service course positioned practically at the foot of the descent. At the Dauphiné we spoke to DS Julien Jurdie for a detailed insight into the climb and the equally important descent. You can read that here.
@LeTour Sun, 9th Jul 2017 09:26:08
The difference between today's stage and the Dauphiné's, of course, is what lies before the Mont du Chat. While that was pretty much the only difficulty on the parcours last month, today the riders will have a huge amount of climbing in the legs already, including the Col de la Biche and the Grand Colombier. Endurance will play a far bigger role, and there's always the chance that the race will have been blown apart before they even reach the foot of the final climb.
@TeamWantyGobert Sun, 9th Jul 2017 09:25:11
That Wanty tweet raises an important point: the weather.
Rain is predicted throughout today's stage and, with such a heavy load of descending, this will be a treacherous day out - not least on the already-dastardly final descent, where the endgame will be unfolding and risks will be taken.
'I expect the GC to be blown wide open'
Race leader and three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is braced for a big day. You can read the full story here.
Here's Nairo Quintana on the rollers. He was disappointing on La Planche des Belles Filles but this is a stage that suits him far better, and by the end of the day we should have a true indication of his chances of winning the Tour after three podium finishes.
The riders roll out for the départ fictif.
For more preview of today's stage, here's a story from Alasdair Fotheringham, with the thoughts of Quintana and his Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué.
Prudhomme rises through the sunroof of the car, flag in hand, and, as we pass the kilometre-zero banner, he signals that the stage is officially underway. Here we go!
Tim Wellens attacks from the gun.
The second-category Côte des Neyrolles has already begun. 3.2km at 7.2%.
Arnaud Demare, who fought to make the time cut yesterday, is dropped immediately. He has teammates with him but this is set to be another brutal day ahead of the broom wagon for the French champion.
Wellens has a gap as riders pile off the front in pursuit.
A great effort from Wellens, who is stretching out his advantage. Alessandro De Marchi, one of Richie Porte's BMC domestiques, looks to make his way over now.
There's a large group of breakaway hopefuls sitting just ahead of the peloton, where Team Sky are tapping out a steady rhythm.
Thibaut Pinot attacks. The Frenchman finished fourth in the Giro d'Italia and came here with the goal of stage wins and maybe the polka-dot jersey. He said he needed to ride his way into form and wrote off any chances in the first week, but is today his day? It's certainly a key day for the polka-dots.
Pinot reaches Wellens and skips away from him to take the five points on offer at the summit of the climb.
@SadhbhOS Sun, 9th Jul 2017 10:09:16
Mori cries out in pain as he lies on the ground. He's clutching his shoulder. That looks like race over for him.
175km remaining from 181km
As more riders come over to Pinot and Wellens, the lead group has swelled to more than 30.
Alberto Contador has sent Bauke Mollema and Jarlinson Pantano - two of his most important mountain domestiques - into this breakaway group.
Robert Gesink has abandoned the race, along with Mori. He was involved in the same crash.
The riders are on the third-cat Col de Bérentin, 4.1km at 6.1%.
We'll bring you a full list of riders in the break shortly.
170km remaining from 181km
The break nears the summit and he skips away for the KOM banner once again. De Gendt and Geschke follow but the Frenchman collects another two points. It's clear that he fancies the polka-dots today.
Sky lead the peloton over the top of the climb 1:45 in arrears.
Here is a provisional list of breakaway riders
Ten Dam, Geschke, Barguil, Arndt, Matthews (Sunweb)
Benoot, Gallopin, Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
Bakelants, Domont, Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale)
Feillu, Pichon, Sepulveda (Fortuneo)
Betancur, Herrada (Movistar)
Mollema, Pantano (Trek-Segafredo)
Rolland, Van Baarle (Cannondale)
De Marchi, Moinard (BMC)
Voeckler, Chavanel (Direct Energie)
Edet, Navarro (Cofidis)
Kiserlovski, Machado (Katusha-Alpecin)
Kozhatayev, Lutsenko (Astana
Laengen, Durasek (UAE)
We make it 38 in the break. Sky, Dimension Data, and Wanty would seem to be the only teams not represented.
Sky, then, look to be on the defensive for a second day in a row. With his two most important men up the road, what is Contador planning?
The riders are currently making their way down a lengthy descent to the foot of the Col de la Biche, the first of the three HC climbs. The descent is interrupted after 35km by the third-category Côte de Franclens.
@caluweski Sun, 9th Jul 2017 10:36:39
The newly-surfaced roads are slick in the wet and Sepulveda comes a cropper, but he looks ok.
Voeckler and Laengen are off the back of the lead group, a minute back now.
147km remaining from 181km
Luke Rowe continues to lead the peloton for Sky, with the gap standing at 2:30. Henao needs a wheel change but he'll get back in.
145km remaining from 181km
De Gendt leads the break onto the third climb of the day, the Côte de Franclens, 2.4km at 6%.
Stybar and Feillu have been dropped from the break, along with Laengen, Voeckler, and Sepulveda.
143km remaining from 181km
De Gendt picks up the points at the top of the climb. Pinot comes across third and so can't add to his tally.
We're hearing that Gesink has been taken to hospital with a possible back injury.
@caluweski Sun, 9th Jul 2017 10:53:07
Sepulveda is back with the bunch. Voeckler, Feillu, Domont, and Laengen are together chasing down the break. And they have them in sight now.
@dnlbenson Sun, 9th Jul 2017 10:59:07
Voeckler, Feillu, Laengen, and Domont are back with the break, not without a vigorous piece of arm-waving from Feillu, who felt the others weren't pulling their weight.
The break is therefore back up to 38 riders.
@nygaardbn Sun, 9th Jul 2017 06:26:22
We're approaching the first big climb of the day, the Col de la Biche. And it's soon followed by the Grand Colombier. This is how it looks.
@SadhbhOS Sun, 9th Jul 2017 11:02:49
Sky continue to set a steady tempo in the peloton, 3:30 behind the breakaway. Will we see the GC battle light up on the Col de la Biche?
Ten Dam leads the breakaway on the early slopes of the climb.
Rowe and Knees continue to lead the peloton on this HC climb. They're not natural climbers and that means the gap to the break is growing out again, but better for Sky to have them around for what's to come here.
Tim Wellens and Nikias Arndt are suffering at the back of the breakaway.
De Gendt is the next to drop off the back of the lead group. With 120 km to go, the gap has grown to 4:22.
No smiles on the faces today, all are either grim-faced or gasping for air.
The sprinters are, as expected, falling out of the peloton: Greipel, Kittel, Bouhanni. Going to be a rather large gruppetto today, we suspect.
The lead group still has five km to the summit.
Stybar is the next to let go from the first group.
The peloton is giving up time here, as the gap is over 4:45 now, with 117 km and much climbing still to come.
A mechanical for Fuglsang, not the best time for that.
A teammate is pulling him back up to the peloton. The gap is now 5:11.
Ten Dam continues to lead things, what a display of strength from the Dutchman. Edet fades away from the back of the lead group.
The gap to the peloton is now nearing the 5:30 mark.......
Rolland jumps from the lead group as they near the summit. He is soon joined by a handful of others in an uphill sprint.
Roglic builds up a small gap in the lead. The former ski jumper knows how to deal with mountains.
And Roglic wins the mountain points!
Roglic keeps going, with four other riders close behind. The rest of the lead group is coming on in dribs and drabs.
It is apparently raining at the moment, as it has been off and on all stage.
It is not clear who was second at the mountain ranking, as some sources say Pinot and others Vuillermoz.
110 km to go, and the peloton is now 6:20 back. One begins to wonder if they will be able to catch up.
Things have come together again at the head of the race, as they race down in the rain on wet roads.
The Sky-led peloton crosses over at about 6:40 back.
A crash on the descent, with 3 riders involved.
The mountain points went to: Roglic, Vuillermois, Barguil, Pinot and Mollema.
The three riders out of the lead group in that crash were Herrada, Kozhatayev and Lutsenko. Herrada has abandoned.
Three AG2R riders have built up a small lead With the rain continuing, all are being a bit more careful at the moment.
AG2R is also leading the peloton. Calmejane, yesterday's winner, has finally been dropped by that group.
Crash! Geraint Thomas is down.
That's exactly the same corner as the one where Herrada et al went down. Thomas is on the floor, sitting up at the moment. The cameras didn't catch the moment of the crash but it looked like a hard one.
Oof. Gautier, leading the peloton as break-neck speed for AG2R, overcooks a corner and has to go wide. Somehow, he keeps his bike upright, despite having to come to a halt.
99km remaining from 181km
The peloton has been ripped apart by AG2R, who will know this area better than anyone, with the team's base located near the finish of today's stage.
Froome only has one teammate with him as he follows Porte down the mountain. But there are huge splits in the bunch.
Rafal Majka also went down with Thomas.
Up front, AG2R's work has forced a selection, with Bakelants, Domont, and Vuillermoz joined by Pantano, Poljanski, and Benoot.
Bardet is following his teammates down this descent, and Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana are up there with the Frenchman. Froome is caught behind. He has Kwiatkowski leading him down, and he also has a couple of teammates in the Bardet group.
@SadhbhOS Sun, 9th Jul 2017 12:17:36
Aru is also in the Bardet group, but Froome et al are coming back.
Where is Contador? It seems the Spaniard has been caught out.
Froome, Porte, Yates and other favourites make it up to the Bardet group.
97km remaining from 181km
There are only around 20 riders left in the yellow jersey group as they begin the climb of the Grand Colombier.
Up at the head of the race, Domont, Vuillermoz and Bakelants lead the way for AG2R, with Ten Dam, Benoot, Poljanski, and Pantano in tow. That's 7 riders in the front group, with the rest of the breakaway remnants scattered on the lower slopes of the Grand Colombier.
Contador is back with the yellow jersey group.
AG2R lead the yellow jersey group up the Grand Colombier. This is some statement of intent from Romain Bardet's team. Something of an underdog runner-up last year, he has stepped up and is now asserting himself on the Tour de France.
Geraint Thomas has abandoned the race after that crash and is reportedly on his way to hospital. Here's the story.
Betancur is struggling in the chase group, and now Vuillermoz, in the lead group, is the virtual maillot jaune.
Domont and Bakelants have fallen away from the lead group.
And now Pantano is getting dropped. So out front we have the trio of Vuillermoz, Benoot and Barguil (he was the Sunweb rider - not Ten Dam)
Crash for Contador!
What happened there? The Spaniard, climbing and not travelling fast, suddenly falls over to his left-hand side. Was he knocked off balance? He has a bloodied left arm but he's back up and running.
The peloton hits the infernal gradients of this climb - remember, this is the toughest side of the Grand Colombier. Henao is struggling as the yellow jersey group threatens to blow up once more.
@tcyclinguk Sun, 9th Jul 2017 12:36:30
Porte's domestique Nico Roche has been dropped.
Benoot and Barguil have dropped Vuillermoz.
Benoot and Barguil are just over 2.5km from the top of the Grand Colombier.
What a day this is turning out to be. The GC favourites rode the first three climbs and the Col de la Biche in pedestrian fashion, but it all kicked off when AG2R hit the front of both groups on the descent. We're still 91km from the finish, and anything could happen.
Mollema and Roglic have joined forces from the remnants of the original breakaway, and they've just caught Vuillermoz. They're just over half a minute down on Benoot and Barguil.
Thibaut Pinot has been caught by the yellow jersey group, as have many members of that large initial breakaway.
90km remaining from 181km
Barguil rides away from Benoot towards the top of the Grand Colombier. He'll take a further 20 points in the mountains classification.
There are no more than 25 riders in the yellow jersey group. Quintana and Martin are without teammates, Porte has one man with him, Froome has three men, Bardet two. Aru and Fuglsang are there for Astana.
Barguil and Benoot decide to wait for Mollema, Roglic, and Vuillermoz - the three chasers. So now we have a lead group of five. And with a lead of six minutes, the stage win is becoming a possibility
The yellow jersey group is over the top of the Grand Colombier, so all the main players are descending.
82km remaining from 181km
A reminder of the stage profile. This is a fast, near-20km descent off the Grand Colombier.
Kwiatkowski leads Team Sky down the descent. AG2R, after their assault on the last descent, have backed off for the time being.
@SadhbhOS Sun, 9th Jul 2017 12:55:46
The five-man chase group is closing in on the five leaders. They're just 25 seconds back now. This is promising for Matthews, with the intermediate sprint coming up 15km or so beyond the foot of this descent.
Here is how things stand in the points classification. There are a maximum of 20 on offer at the intermediate sprint.
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 212 pts
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 182
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 140
4 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 130
5 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin 113
@Cyclocosm Sun, 9th Jul 2017 13:07:12
The lead and chase groups have merged to make it 10 riders out in front, with a lead of 4:45 over the peloton.
@willfoth Sun, 9th Jul 2017 13:10:32
64km remaining from 181km
As the road flattens out, the race calms down after a long period of action. There are 10 riders out front, with Sky leading the yellow jersey group 3:45 behind, yet that doesn't tell the story of the upheaval we've had so far.
We're just over 20km from the foot of the Mont du Chat, and it looks like it will be calm until then. In between, we have an intermediate sprint and a short cat-4 climb.
Mechanical for Quintana, who's chasing back on through the cars.
Kwiatkowski, arms tucked over his bars, fast becoming one of the stand-out domestiques of this Tour, is still leading the yellow jersey group for Sky, and he's brought the gap to the break down to 3:35.
Kwiatkowski, Henao, Landa, Nieve, Froome. Despite the Thomas crash, Sky have come through that early test pretty well indeed, and they look in a strong position ahead of the Mont du Chat.
Simon Geschke has made it up to the leading group and, with 3km to the intermediate sprint, that's useful for Matthews.
But Lotto Soudal have other plans. Greipel isn't here but his teammates are, and they want to deprive Matthews of as many as possible. The lead group splits briefly as Gallopin and Benoot apply the pressure.
Matthews goes for a long one, attacking from 1km out. Benoot rides over but appears to say he won't contest the sprint. In any case, Geschke hits the front to provide a more traditional leadout.
54km remaining from 181km
Matthews launches with 200m to go, and true enough Benoot doesn't bother to chase. There are easier ways to get 20 points, but fair play to the Australian, who's deadly serious about this green jersey.
Benoot and Bakelants carry on up the road, having tracked Matthews, who drops back with Geschke.
A reminder of our special podcast with Thomas Dekker, telling the remarkable story of how his career - and to a certain extent his life - spiralled out of control at the hands of doping, and how he has subsequently picked up the pieces.
50km remaining from 181km
Back in the race, we have 50 kilometres to go on this stage, which has already delivered, but which promises much more on the Mont du Chat.
The leaders are on the short preliminary cat-4 climb - the Côte de Jongieux.
Gallopin and Bakelants are extending their lead here. Back in the second group on the road, Benoot and Vuillermoz can sit on the back, without having to contribute to the pace-setting.
47km remaining from 181km
Bakelants leads over the top of the cat-4 climb. They've opened up a handy lead over the chasers.
We're hearing that part of the publicity caravan has become stuck on the descent of the Mont du Chat. Not good.
A closer look at the Mont du Chat - the way up, anyway.
The culprit - Mickey Mouse - has been towed away and the road is clear.
@eduardgonzalo98 Sun, 9th Jul 2017 13:47:29
40km remaining from 181km
Matthews, having done a big turn to repay his teammates, pulls over and grinds to a halt. They're on the approach to the foot of the Mont du Chat.
As referenced earlier, this is what Julien Jurdie told us about the Mont du Chat last month.
"The approach itself isn't easy. The few preceding kilometres are at four or five per cent so the peloton will already be stretched, and then there's a left-hand turn onto the gradients of eight to 10 per cent. From there it just doesn't let up, and it even gets harder – the last three to four kilometres are brutal, at an average of 12 per cent."
Bakelants and Gallopin have 50 seconds over the second group on the road, with teammates behind.
The stint in the valley has allowed dropped riders to chase back onto the yellow jersey group, with QuickStep and BMC among those adding support to their leaders.
Betancur loses contact with the chase group.
Geschke is also dropped.
The peloton is still on the approach to the climb. Kwiatkowski pulls off for Sky and himself grinds to a halt. Sky still lead, with AG2R and BMC also making their presence felt.
Froome has Henao, Landa, and Nieve in front of him. Porte and Bardet have two men each.
Pantano also dropped from the chase group, where only Mollema,Roglic, Benoot, Barrguil, Vuillermoz, and Navarro remain.
34km remaining from 181km
The road has been rising for some time but only now does the ascent of the Mont du Chat officially begin.
Mollema rides away from the chase group.
Up ahead, Gallopin rides away from Bakelants.
Sky lead the yellow jersey group as it whittles down.
Barguil has joined Mollema and they're about to catch - and probably pass - Bakelants.
Gallopin his caught and Barguil presses on, opening up a gap at the head of the race now.
Attack from Aru!
And Froome has a mechanical!
Wow. A huge moment a this Tour de France
Quintana and Porte go with Aru.
Froome is back up and running with his teammates, but his rivals are up the road.
The pace has dropped up ahead in the GC group. Are they waiting for Froome?
Big question and possible polemica: did Aru attack because he saw Froome stopping with a mechanical?
It looks like Aru attacked while Quintana and Porte tracked him but refused to come through, with the rest of the riders refusing to push on.
And now Fuglsang attacks. Astana aren't making any friends here.
@luke_durbridge1 Sun, 9th Jul 2017 14:16:05
Froome shoulders Aru! Froome brushes into the Italian. He apologises but that may well have been deliberate.
Fuglsang is 20 seconds clear of the yellow jersey group as Henao is done for the day.
30km remaining from 181km
Barguil is putting in some ride here. He has a minute over Mollema.
Benoot rides away from Mollema and Bakelants in what was the second group on the road.
@daniellloyd1 Sun, 9th Jul 2017 14:18:13
Just looking at the replays, that is so blatant from Aru - comically so. Froome raises his arm for the team car and Aru literally rides right past him as he clips off the front.
Should riders wait for rivals if they chain slips, their gears stick, etc? It's a debate that will rumble on. What will earn Aru no favours was the sheer opportunism of it.
Louis Meintjes is dropped. That's good news for white jersey wearer Simon Yates.
The two-time Tour de France champion watches the tail end of the GC group disappear up the road. His hopes of winning this race are evaporating.
28km remaining from 181km
Aru attacks again! And this time there can be no complaints.
Fuglsang cracks on. He has caught Mollema and Bakelants.
Porte takes over and accelerates. Froome is there with him, Aru, and Quintana. Also Bardet and Uran.
Dan Martin drags himself back to that GC selection.
And Martin attacks now! He's not going anywhere though.
Porte accelerates again! Froome draws him back.
Contador is already a minute down as he drenches himself with a bottle of water.
Porte accelerates once more and Bardet goes with him. There's a small gap to Froome but it's not growing.
Quintana and Aru are in trouble
Quintana has properly blown. Aru is fighting to hang in.
Froome, Porte, Bardet, Uran. That's the four-man GC selection. They're catching Fuglsang.
Aru drags himself onto the back wheel.
Froome goes again!
And Aru is in trouble once more
This GC selection is just 40 seconds behind Barguil now.
Aru is back in again. Martin is dangling off the back.
Barguil is one kilometre from the summit. Just 33 seconds for the Frenchman now.
Froome leads the way as the crowds thicken. Porte, Aru, Fuglsang, Uran, Bardet, and Martin are with him
Froome drives out of the saddle once more. After all those doubts, he's looking so strong at this Tour.
Quintana is 30 seconds behind the yellow jersey group.
Barguil, chapeau to him after his efforts yesterday, crests the climb in pole position. It doesn't look like the stage win will be possible, but he's going to be wearing the polka-dot jersey tomorrow.
Fuglsang hits the front of the Froome group. He won this stage at the Dauphine last month.
25km remaining from 181km
So, as we head down the descent of the Mont du Chat, we have a lone leader - Warren Barguil - followed 15 seconds later by an elite selection of GC favourites. 7 of them in total - Froome, Fuglsang, Aru, Porte, Bardet, Martin, Uran.
Quintana is around 45 seconds back on the Froome group as he starts the descent. Contador is 2:30 down.
Porte and Martin are down. Huge moment.
We all knew this descent was treacherous, and Porte has gone down really hard. He hits the grass and then flings into the road, taking out Martin.
Porte is poleaxed on the floor. It looks like his race is over.
Martin is back up and running but race radio tells us he's crashed again.
No time to dwell on the chaos for the yellow jersey group, and Froome leads them down. Barguil still leads the way, 15 seconds up ahead.
Froome is opening a gap here on the descent. Bardet can follow, while Fuglsang, Aru, and Uran lose some ground.
Bardet comes to the front now and pushes on. He could strike up an alliance with Froome to put the other three in trouble.
Bardet isn't even waiting for Froome - he's off!
Fuglsang is the weakest descender here and he's losing ground.
We're still waiting for news on Dan Martin. Not entirely sure where he is on the road.
Bardet has found 10 seconds on Froome, Fuglsang, Aru, and Uran.
Quintana is not out of this either. He's now 30 seconds down on Froome.
Richie Porte leaves the mountainside in a neck brace and an ambulance.
Barguil comes to the bottom of the descent. Bardet is coming up fast, and they could join forces for the final 12km run to Chambery.
Meanwhile, Froome calls for support in his group. Astana have two men there so perhaps he can use that to his advantage.
Bardet is taking every risk here. It's do or die, it;s the only way he knows, and it's paying off so far.
11km remaining from 181km
Bardet catches Barguil. They're 20 seconds up on Froome et al.
Puncture for Uran!
No, it's his gears. He's getting support form the neutral service car, and he can hold on, so he's not losing too much ground.
Bardet attacks Barguil!
The Frenchman surges out of the saddle and away from his compatriot.
Bardet is 30 seconds clear of Froome. Huge performance so far from last year's runner up. He has 10.7km to go - all in now.
Froome is digging in, body all over the place as he sticks to Aru's wheel. Fuglsang is doing the pace setting in that four-man group now.
But now Uran, his gears unclogged, hits the front once more.
Uran, it seems, is stuck in one gear, albeit a big one. Aru hits the front.
8km remaining from 181km
Bardet is losing ground as the gap comes down to 20 seconds. Fuglsang is burying himself to close the gap.
Barguil has latched onto the Froome group. He'll sit in now.
6km remaining from 181km
Aru, Froome, and Uran are all doing turns, and that makes it 4-on-1 as far as Bardet is concerned, so he's right up against it with under 7km to go.
@RealStephens Sun, 9th Jul 2017 14:56:36
6km remaining from 181km
15 seconds now for Bardet.
Bardet has to hope for some bluffing and cat and mouse in the group behind, but they're working together for now.
Quintana has slipped to a minute back.
5km remaining from 181km
11 seconds is the gap.
Martin is with Quintana, along with Simon Yates. So Martin also losing a minute here.
Froome hits the front once more. They'll want to open up as much time as possible with contenders chasing behind. Tactics can wait.
3km remaining from 181km
10 seconds now for Bardet. He's going to get caught.
Uran hits the front of the chase group and he can see Bardet, who's not waiting. He's all-in and can't back off now.
Bardet only has several seconds now. His legs will be sapped for the sprint.
2km remaining from 181km
No sign of Astana using their one-man advantage tactically.
2km remaining from 181km
Bardet is caught.
Here we go then. Who's going to take the stage win? Fuglsang won the Dauphine sprint. Astana have the tactical card.
Fuglsang attacks. Uran follows.
1km remaining from 181km
Uran leads them into the final kilometre.
He's not getting a gap, and Uran sits in the wheel.
Froome is grinding this one out as they come through a couple of tight corners. Fuglsang third wheel, then Bardet.
Fuglsang goes first!
He has a gap but here comes Uran.
The gap is closed.
Uran goes again, but here comes Barguil
Barguil gets it!
What a win for Warren Barguil!
Uran was second
Here come Martin, Quintana, and Yates.
They cross the line 1:14 in arrears.
Barguil is in tears already.
Froome was third and so picks up four bonus seconds.
Hold on...a photo finish suggests it was actually Uran who's snagged it.
Rigobert Uran is the winner of stage 9 of the Tour de France
Well, that just sums today up. It looked like Barguil had it. He thought he had it and was already basking in the emotion of it all. But the side-angle shot shows Uran's wheel edges the line just in front. Crazy. Heartbreak for Barguil.
Incredible from Uran when you consider his rear derailleur was busted and he was essentially riding a two-speed bike.
Porte was conscious and alert but he's out of the race, and many's pre-race favourite has seen his hopes of Tour de France glory evaporate. Here's our story.
Dan Martin speaks to reporters at the Quick-Step bus and he's critical of the race organisers.
"I guess the organisers got what they wanted," he says.
"I don't think anyone want to takes risks, but it was so slippy out there. Richie just lost it on one corne, locked his back wheel and there was nowhere to go. I was lucky to come away with what i did."
1 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac 05:07:22
2 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 00:00:00
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:00
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:00
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:00
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:00
7 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:01:15
8 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky 00:01:15
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:15
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:15
General classification after stage 9
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 38:26:28
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:18
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:51
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac 00:00:55
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:01:37
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:44
7 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 00:02:02
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:02:13
9 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky 00:03:06
10 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:03:53
So, Froome, thanks to those bonus seconds, extends his lead at the top of the standings by four seconds, but boy have there been some changes today.
Geraint Thomas, 2nd at the start of the day, is out of the race. Richie Porte, 5th this morning, is also out. Alberto Contador is out of the top 10. Uran and Fuglsang are into the top 10. Bardet is up into the podium places.
There's so much to discuss and dissect today, and this will rumble on well into the rest day tomorrow. We'll be keeping this live blog open for a good while yet, to bring you all the post-stage reaction.
Rigoberto Uran speaks
"It's incredible. I was actually on my way off - I didn't think I'd won. In that crash with Dan Martin and Richie Porte I damaged my gears, so I was just looking to hang in there. So to win is a big surprise, it's incredible, I'm so happy about it."
No update from the BMC team on Porte, as his teammates are being guided straight onto the bus, not stopping for the scrum of reporters waiting outside.
Contador, it transpires, received a heavy blow to the knee in the same crash that saw Thomas abandon. The Spaniard also hit the deck when Nairo Quintana bumped into him on the Grand Colombier. In the end, he fell away on the Mont du Chat and lost 4:19.
Here's Chris Froome
"Definitely mixed feelings today. Of course I'm happy to still be in the jersey but at the same time that was crazy stage. I've just seen the images of Richie Porte's crash and that just leaves you with a horrible feeling - I really hope he's ok. Obviously my teammate Geraint Thomas crashed out as well. The rest of my team, the guys did a massive job, to control that today was no easy task, so chapeau to them."
Froome is asked about his mechanical and Aru's attack
"At the bottom of the Mont du Chat, my gears stopped working and I had to change bikes. Richie was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery."
Finish line shots are in
BMC send out DS Fabio Baldato to speak to the press
"I can only speak with caution. We were a couple of minutes behind, and when we got there with my eyes I saw him in pain.
"We are all sad. Richie did a lot of work for this Tour de France since the start of the year. Recons, training camps, we did everything possible to put him on the podium. We put the whole team around him. For sure it's sad. I hope he can come back stronger. He deserved a good result."
Heartbreak for Warren Barguil. We think this was when he thought he'd won his first Tour de France stage, rather than the moment he found out he hadn't.
Arnaud Demare is out of the race
It's official. The French champion, off the back from KM0, has failed to finish within the time cut. His FDJ teammates Delage, Guarnieri, and Konovalovas, who accompanied him over the climbs, are also out. A blg blow for the French team, whose race now depends on Pinot.
We're also hearing that Juraj Sagan, Mark Renshaw, and Matteo Trentin also missed the time cut.
That's seven riders outside the limit, while we make it at least four riders - Porte, Thomas, Mori, Gesink - who abandoned the race after crashes.
Here's our daily round-up of the snap reaction.
@SadhbhOS Sun, 9th Jul 2017 16:16:34
Here's our report page, with a full write-up of the stage, full results, and plenty of great photos.
Chris Froome has just walked out of his yellow jersey press conference. He didn't seem to like the questions about Aru.
Alberto Contador plays down the crashes, explaining that his legs simply weren't up to the job today.
"It's secondary to talk about pain," he says. "I wasn't how I'd hoped today, and that's it. I had good sensations this morning and in fact we put Bauke and Jarlinson up the road thinking about a possible attack. But then the legs didn't respond."
Aru to Italian TV: "I didn't know Froome had had a mechanical. When I found out, I stopped."
George Bennett is now in the top 10 overall. He came here for stage wins but that may well change...
@georgenbennett Sun, 9th Jul 2017 16:39:39
@swiftybswift Sun, 9th Jul 2017 16:44:05
@inrng Sun, 9th Jul 2017 16:46:12
Indeed, he wasn't anywhere near the top of most people's list of favourites, but now Uran must be considered a threat for the podium.
@DanMartin86 Sun, 9th Jul 2017 16:51:07
Dave Brailsford has commented on Geraint Thomas' injury and abandonment today. Read more in our news article.
A lot to talk about today in our Stage 9 finish line quotes article.
It was a roufg day in the Tour. Aside from the abandonments of Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas. Robert Gesink and his teammate Jos Van Emden also quit today. Manuele Mori also did not finish today's stage.
The time limit also claimed a few riders, most notably Arnaud Demare. FDJ also lost Jacopo Guarinieri, Mickael Delage and Ignatas Konovalovas.
Other riders outside the time limit include Matteo Trentin, Juraj Sagan and Mark Renshaw.
Dan Martin went down in the crash with Porte bout was able to remount and finish the stage. Here's what he had to say at the finish:
“It’s so slippery and I guess the organisers got what they wanted. I don’t think anyone wanted to take risks there but it was so slippery under the trees. Richie locked up his back wheel, went straight into the grass, just wiped out, and his bike just collected me. I had no where to go,” Martin said after crossing the line in Chambery.
Dan Martin was very upset at the finish line today, and our Daniel Benson has the story:
If you want to relive the action fro today's exciting stage, check out the race highlights video.
Our Dane Cash summarised the carnage from today's stage with multiple riders finishing outside the time limit and other abandoning after crashes. Read the report HERE.
Sahbh O'Shea has the story of Rigoberto Uran's stage win, including how he rode the final 23km in his 53-11.
Read the story HERE.
In one of the more dramatic moments of today's stage, Fabio Aru attacked just as Chris Froome suffered some sort of mechanical. Aru says he didm;t see Froome in trouble and stopped as soon as he found out.
Read more HERE.
Chris Froome told journalists he didn't see Fabio Aru's attack while he had a mechanical and there was nothing intentional when the two rubbed shoulders later on in the stage. Daniel Benson has the story HERE.
BMC have confirmed that Richie Porte has a broken collarbone and pelvis. The team are hoping he can return to racing in August. Read more HERE.
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