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Tour de France 2017: Stage 9

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Hello there, and welcome to Cyclingnews' live race centre for full rolling coverage of stage 9 of the Tour de France. 

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.

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

Let's talk about the Mont du Chat

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. 

That Wanty tweet raises an important point: the weather. 

'I expect the GC to be blown wide open'

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. 

They're off

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.

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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.