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Tour de Suisse 2014: Stage 9

Live coverage of stage nine of the 2014 Tour de Suisse.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the final stage of the Tour de Suisse.

This decisive stage is already underway, with the rider tackling the first of four climbs that will decide who is the final overall winner of this year's race.

Sadly Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) did not start today's final stage. He is still suffering from a bee sting on his arm during Friday's time trial.

We have already seen several attacks as riders try to get into the break of the day.

A group of 16 riders has formed on the first climb of the stage.

40km remaining from 157km

The 16 riders has a 25 second lead. This could be a hectic, super aggressive stage.

There are reports of 18 or 19 riders now in the break. However the peloton is not letting them get away.

The gap is now 55 seconds with the attack apparently down to ten riders.

The attackers include: Ruben Plaza (Movistar),  Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Maniuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Stef Clement (Belkin).    

Also in the ten rider attack, are Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Andre Cardoso (Garmin-Sharp), Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling) and Jeremy Roy (FDJ.fr).

57km remaining from 157km

The race is now on the second climb of the day but the peloton is still trying to chase them down. 

The riders are close to the top of the climb. Some on else could try to jump across to the 10-rider break.

As we suspected, several riders have jumped across to the 10 rider up front. It is also now raining on the race, adding another factor to the battle on the road.

Also in the attack are Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ.fr), Sander Armee (Lotto Belisol), Danilo Wyss, Steve Morabito (BMC), Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo), Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) and Georg Preidler (Giant-Shimano).

80km remaining from 157km

The sky is still grey but it has stopped raining.

The break has gone through the feed zone, grabbing their feed bags at speed before quickly powering on.

The gap to the peloton is 1:25.

Just after the half-way point in the stage, the 17-rider break has a lead of 1:25.

There are five Swiss riders in the break of the day, chasing a special final victory on home roads.

Tony Martin's Omega Pharma-QuikcStep team cannot let this break go away. Steve Morabito (BMC) is best placed overall, only 3:05 behind the German.

55km remaining from 157km

The peloton is lined out as it tries to chase the breakaway. The next climb is about to begin and so it could be a breaking point in the race.

The riders in the break have begun to attack each other.

Indeed the break is splitting on the climb. Only the strongest will survive.

Behind the peloton is also exploding. Matthias Frank (IAM Cycling), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin) have jumped away, as others suffer.

Martin is trying to limit his losses but has already used up most of his teammates.

Riders from the break are dropping back to help the Frank, Costa and Mollema trio. Vanmarcke and Marcel Wyss are there to help. 

The attackers from the peloton have joined the main break, using their teammates to distance race leader and his group.

Belkin and IAM CYcling are driving the break clear. They've passed the top of the climb and grab a bottle before the descent. 

Tony Martin's group is 1:25.

Martin has moved off the front and seems close to giving up on overall victory.

The climb to the finish is 20km long and will reveal who can win the Tour de Suisse.

The front group is screaming along and increasing the gap.

There are 13 riders left up front. Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) is no longer there and other riders have been dropped.

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) has also missed the attack and so his teammate Priedler has dropped back from the break to give him a hand. He will need it.

The chase is taking place on the descent but the gap is up to 2:15.

Tony Martin has found some help from other teams but he's facing a mammoth task to save his race lead.

24km remaining from 157km

But the chase group seems to have eased and the gap increases to 2:20.

The climb to the finish begins in four kilometres.

Martin gets some help from Giant-Shimano and Louis Meintjes (MTN - Qhubeka). 

As it stands, Rui Costa is on track to take the overall victory. He is best placed overall of the riders in the front group.

Matthias FRank (IAM Cycling) is nine seconds behind, with Mollema at 36 seconds.

18km remaining from 157km

The gap remains at 2:00 as the gradient of the climb begins to bite.

There only nine riders up front now. But Tony Martin refuses to go down without a fight. He is riding on the front and the gap is down to 1:50.

12km remaining from 157km

Martin is riding a person time trial on the front of the chase group. The gap i down to 1:40.

or now, nobody up front is showing their hand. This will be a poker game until the final kilometres.

10km remaining from 157km

The riders are in a short tunnel, with Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling) doing a massive turn on the front.

The gap has opened to 2:10 as Wyss powers away on the front.

Behind the attacks have begun, with Eros Capecchi (Movistar) going away and sparking a chase by Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo).

8km remaining from 157km

Martin catches the attackers but Kreziger is upping the pace as he tries to protect his own GC position.

The gap is only 1:40 now.

up front Wyss is still working hard, as the gradient eases. No doubt the decisive attacks will come in the final kilometres as the road kicks up again.

Martin refuses to give up. He's trying to time trial his way back up to the front group and so limit his time losses.

5km remaining from 157km

Costa looks strong as he prepares for the final showdown for overall victory.

Wyss is still working on the front for his IAM Cycling teammate. Can Frank take over, gain the nine seconds he needs on Costa and win the Tour de Suisse?

Wyss pulls over and Frank accelerates. But Costa and Mollema are going after him.

Behind other riders are suffering and trying to limit their losses.

Now Costa opens a gap with a strong surge. Zaugg (tinkoff-Saxo) is also fighting back but the gaps are opening.

2km remaining from 157km

Costa is committed and is trying to win the stage and the overall classification.

Mollema is suffering and has lost some ground but he's still fighting for a place on the final podium.

Tony Martin is close to 2:00 back and so has lost any chance of victory.

The climb ends very soon, with a short descent to the finish area.

Last kilometre.

Costa is about to win the stage and the overall classification. It will be his first win as world champion.

Costa gets the cheers as he rides to the finish.

He celebrates with his arms in the air!

Mollema takes second at 15 seconds but Frank is not far behind and defends second overall behind Costa.

Wow. What a stage, what a race.

Frank was actually ahead of Mollema in sight of the finish but lost his chain for a moment.

Tony Martin loses more than two minutes and so losses his leader's yellow jersey to Costa.

Race number 13 proved unlucky for Tony Martin.

Costa pointed to himself and pointed out he was number one as he crossed the line.

Costa pulls on the yellow jersey as the winner of the 2014 Tour de Suisse. He is joined on the podium by Frank and Mollema.

Thanks for following our daily live coverage from the Tour de Suisse.

We will have a full race report and a huge photo gallery on Cyclingnews very soon.

Join us in July for live coverage from start to finish of every stage of the Tour de France.

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