Tour de France 2021, stage 9: Australian Ben O’Connor climbs on the podium in Tignes

Tignes crowned on Sunday July 4th an Australian from a French team, Ben O’Connor, solo winner of the 9th stage of a Tour de France now under the law of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

In the Savoyard resort, at an altitude of 2107 meters, Pogacar has confirmed if necessary its current superiority in the mountains. He nibbled about thirty extra seconds on his direct rivals, the day after his seizure of power in Grand-Bornand (Haute-Savoie).

→ READ. Tour de France: after the Alps, a day of rest in a bubble

The only change for the outgoing winner before the Tour observes its first day of rest: the name of its runner-up. The Belgian Wout van Aert logically fell back on a ground not very convenient and left the second place to O’Connor, now 2 min 01 sec behind the Slovenian.

“O’Connor was awesome, he did a big number, hat”, said politely Pogacar who evaded during the short post-stage press conference a question about the suspicion spread on social networks following his coup.

“My physical condition is super good, a little worse than yesterday (Saturday) but yesterday I had one of the best days of my career. Today, it was necessary to put more into survival mode ”, replied the young Slovenian (22) from the UAE team.

Dark day for Groupama-FDJ

In the final, Pogacar countered a start by Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz less than 4 kilometers from the finish and left his opponents unanswered. Even more David Gaudu who gave up nearly a minute to his rivals for a place of honor in a dark day for his Groupama-FDJ team (Arnaud Démare out of time).

→ THE ROUTE. Find the map of the 2021 Tour de France stages

Cold and rain hardened the race in this 144.9-kilometer stage that left without two major players, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic and the Dutch Mathieu van der Poel, already looking to the Tokyo Olympics. With the difference that if Roglic is diminished by the after-effects of his fall, van der Poel mainly intends to digest the fatigue of a thunderous first week, for his debut in the Tour. Several withdrawals (Peters, Merlier, De Buyst) were then recorded during the stage.

O’Connor rookie of choice

In contrast, the Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli caused a sensation in this mountain stage that the sprinter completed in… third place. “It was cold, I felt good, it was a day of grace”, exulted the sprinter of the Bahrain team, a formation which has not ceased to surprise for several weeks both at the Giro (2nd place for Caruso) and Dauphiné (three stage successes).

To win the stage, O’Connor left behind in the long final climb, more than 20 kilometers on a moderate slope most of the time (5.6% on average), his last companions, the Colombians Nairo Quintana, new carrier of the polka dot jersey, and Sergio Higuita.



→ FIND the full classification of the 9th stage of the Tour de France 2021

→ AND ALSO: The general classification of the Tour de France 2021


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