130km again: A mountain king wins for Benoot!
The Belgian first passed the top, delivering another victory to Lotto-Soudal.
These are the points of Murd & Aurec-sur-Loire (cateory 1, km 36.5):
1. Tiejs Benoot, 10 points
2. Anthony Delaplace, 8 points
3. Daryl Impey, 6 points
4. Romain Sicard, 4 points
5. Jesus Herrada, 2 points
6. Nicolas Roche, 1 pt
133km again: Marc Soler had joined the leading group, which was a hard effort on this narrow and tortuous ascent on the road that was really filled with a border-breaking audience, which weighed heavily on security personnel, although all were very lively and kind. Rui Costa is also only 45 seconds away. Breakaway is now seven minutes ahead of the Peloton, led by yellow jersey holder Alaphilippe, with Pinot and Thomas right behind them.
135km again: There is no sign that many leaders tend to let Soler and Rui Costa join them, as we approach the big climb at Mur. The gap between leaders and peloton has grown to six minutes, but when we press Mur we will learn more. Soler makes a decent fist to join them, he is 46 seconds behind the leading group, which is in energy saving mode, they also have to, when the gradient grows and the road narrows.
News about Alessandro De Marchi, who fell very badly before and had to get out of the race. And it was even more exciting – he wanted to continue, he realized, but he had a wound on his eyebrow and needed his collar bone to be examined. His injuries were not as severe as they appeared when they chimed on the sidewalk. He was on his way to the hospital for an x-ray.
136.5km to go: The strange "Allez Bardet" banner began to emerge, when the Frenchman rode through his native region. He returned to the package, with the peloton only three minutes behind the leaders as he passed the Loire.
And this is the leading collection in full: Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) Boasson Hagen (Data Dimension), Clarke (First EF Education), Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic), Garcia (Bahrain-Merida), Herrada (Cofidis Solution Credit), Impey ( Mitchelton-Scott), Martin (Jumbo-Visma) OliverNaesen (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Roche (Sunweb), Sicard (Total-Direct Energie), Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Tratnik (Bahrain) -Merida). Soler and Rui Costa continue to hijack their lonely plot and appear to be in vain as hunters.
143km more: We climb now, through the beautiful countryside that must be said, and we now have a strong and strong breakthrough from 14, led by Nico Roche and followed by Herrada and Stuyven. Benoot, Boassen Hagen, Naesen and Martin are among them. In no man's land about 50 seconds behind them was Marc Soler, with Rui Costa alone one minute and 40-odd seconds further back. Alaphilippe heads the peloton, which is about two and a half minutes behind the front.
153km to go: It seems like a big break will be made on the Mur itself, which is soaring now. There were a group of around 15 in front, including Roche, Naesen, Impey, Garcia Cortina, Herrada, Clarke, Martin, Stuyven and Benoot. Marc Soler has tried hard to join them.
158km again: The Wellens team, Wout van Aert and Rui Costa have joined Politt up front, with others wanting to join those who broke away. This is a pretty aggressive start
159km again: Alessandro De Marchi has a collision that looks bad behind, and seems to have hurt his head on the sidewalk. He received medical assistance, and had to be taken by ambulance. The race is over.
163km to go: Politt is advancing at this time. He will want and expect some companies soon. Total Energy Directly fulfills the front of the peloton. De Gendt, yesterday's winner, rode so far.
167km again. Wellens' team went alone, Billy no-mates, to set the first step. Nils Politt then became clear. They drove around 75 km per hour
And we are walking
170km to go: They left, down the hill, amid fireworks firing at the start of Bastille day. The beginning that looks fast, with those who want to start the holiday early has begun to be difficult.
Today's stage leads down the hill for the first 10km, which promises us a quick start, followed by 7km up, 7km down again before we start the difficult climb of 'Aurec-sur-Loire'. The distance is about 4.3 km from the line, which is also a downward path.
They are getting ready to ride from Saint-Étienne, which is bathed in glorious / tiring sunshine
"A very nice day for Pinot, yesterday!" MaliciousA told Twitters. "Reaching into the bag and pulling Stomp On, he is happy with his heroism. Today will be extraordinary because he continues to consolidate his position. "Yep, his appearance clearly has improved everything.
Some facts French-in-yellow: Alaphilippe is the 32nd Frenchman to wear yellow at the start of the race on Bastille Day. The last two leaders on July 14 were Tony Gallopin in 2014 and Thomas Voeckler three years before, although the first only had one day.
Some pre-racing readings for your delights. This is William Fotheringham in the hopes of France:
When the tide flows, Pinot looks more than strong enough, as he did at the end of last year when he won two stages on the Spanish Tour and Giro di Lombardia. So far in this tour everything went as he wished. While the Bard2 AG2R squad dropped, the Groupama-FDJ team appeared above expectations in the first Sunday team time trial, placing it in the leading position immediately, and this was followed by a strong appearance behind Alaphilippe's victory at Epernay, where he got five seconds for Thomas . The results are slim, but it gives him an advantage. His young and talented teammate, David Gaudu is also in brilliant condition.
A complete piece is here.
And here's the eighth report yesterday from Jeremy Whittle:
Stage nine, Saint-Étienne to Brioude, 170.5km
Morning all, and happy Bastille Day. This was a moment of hope for French fans, with one of them in yellow, Julian Alaphilippe, and the other, Thibaut Pinot, driving himself in a serious fight for the overall crown. Could it be that 34 years of illness will end at this time? (And are we going to stop describing the sports title drought as "the year xx hurt?"). Whatever, this tour showed signs of heating up after a tortuous first week, with the display of Geraint Thomas tenacious on stage yesterday from Mâcon until Saint-Étienne raised hopes that last year's champions could defend their title.
Thomas's position may be even stronger if he is not caught up in an accident between Michael Woods and Gianni Moscon, from which he recovered strongly but still lost 39 seconds to Alaphilippe and 28 from Pinot. "If I don't fall, I can follow [Pinot and Alaplilippe] and that's a completely different story, "Thomas told ITV afterward." Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphillipe have good kicks and punches – they are people who must be watched and defeated. "
Today's stage, which is hilly, features an impressive early climb in the form of Mur & Aurec-sur-Loire, from where we will see the first escape and end with a 30 km round around Brioude (of course the hometown of Romain Bardet) must be made specifically for a group of people who have followed their steps. Peter Sagan who is always tough, the current point leader, will, people suspect, look forward to this specifically.
Today's stage starts at 12:25 a night BST.
And because we started at Saint-Étienne, here are some haphazard pre-stage music, and maybe it fits:
Tom will soon come to take you past stage nine.