Fedrigo takes home win
Pierrick Fedrigo outsprinted breakaway companion Franco Pellizotti to win stage nine of the Tour de France.
Last Updated: 12/07/09 4:53pm
Pierrick Fedrigo gave Bouygues Telecom their second stage win when he outsprinted Liquigas rider Franco Pellizotti to claim ninth leg of the Tour de France in Tarbes.
For the third consecutive day, a breakaway stayed clear as triple world champion Oscar Freire led the peloton over the line 34 seconds behind the duo in third place.
Freire's Rabobank team came to the front of the peloton in the closing kilometres in an attempt to give the Spanish sprinter an unlikely win in the Pyrenees, but their chase came up short.
Fedrigo, who won a stage in the 2006 edition of the race, came around Pellizotti in the narrow finishing straight after 160 kilometres of racing.
There had been four riders in the original breakaway group but Leonardo Duque was dropped on the first climb of the stage and Jens Voigt faded away on the second, leaving the pair to fight it out for victory.
Although two legendary Tour climbs, the Col d'Aspin and the Col du Tourmalet, had to be dealt with, their positioning near the start of the stage meant that none of the overall favourites launched an attack.
Seven-time champion Armstrong did surprise the pack with a sudden acceleration after 24 km but the peloton soon regrouped.
Andy Schleck was given a scare when he suffered a puncture with less than five kilometres from the finish but he was paced back up to the peloton by a number of team-mates and did not lose any time.
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey and will likely hold it until the riders reach the Alps at the end of the second week.
The riders will spend a rest day in Limoges on Monday before racing commences again the day after.
Fedrigo revealed that good preparation and plain hard work were the reasons for his stage victory as he supplemented the victory of team-mate Thomas Voeckler.
"Thankfully I had a look at the stage finish so I knew there was a bend not far from the finish. Once he attacked I made sure I jumped on his wheel, especially as there was a bit of a headwind," he said
"I knew that if we went over the summit (of the Col du Tourmalet) with only four or five minutes we'd find it hard to go all the way.
"The whole descent there was adverse wind conditions so we really had to go for it and work together to keep our lead."
Stage nine result:
1 Pierrick Fedrigo (France/Bbox-Bouygues) 4hrs 05mins 31secs
2 Franco Pellizotti (Italy/Liquigas) same time
3 Oscar Freire (Spain/Rabobank) +34
4 Sergei Ivanov (Russia/Katusha)
5 Peter Velits (Slovakia/Milram)
6 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne)
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium/Silence-Lotto)
8 Geoffroy Lequatre (France/Agritubel)
9 Alessandro Ballan (Italy/Lampre)
10 Nicolas Roche (Ireland/AG2R)
1 Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy/AG2R) 34hrs 24mins 21secs
2 Alberto Contador (Spain/Astana) +6
3 Lance Armstrong (U.S./Astana) +8
4 Levi Leipheimer (U.S./Astana) +39
5 Bradley Wiggins (Britain/Garmin) +46