Tour de France 2013: Stage nine as it happened

Live text as Britain's Chris Froome retains the yellow jersey after a brutal ninth stage of Tour de France, which Ireland's Dan Martin wins.

7 July 2013 Last updated at 17:07

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As it happened

  1. 1557: 

    The race report is live. The BBC Radio 5 live podcast will follow. I'll also have a couple of pieces ready for you to read on Monday's rest day - a review of the first week with Rob Hayles and Graham Jones, and a question and answer column with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.

    In the meantime, thanks, as always for your texts and tweets. Chris Bevan is back with Tuesday's live text commentary - help him cheer Cavendish to a 25th Tour stage win.

  2. 1554: 

    A huge bullet dodged by Team Sky and Chris Froome on the second and final day in the Pyrenees then. They will have plenty of time to analyse their performance today because Monday is the first rest day of this year's Tour.

    Those with money are heading to the airport for flights north this evening, those without are heading to the motorways for a long drive.

    Tuesday's 10th stage starts in western France at Saint-Gildas-des-Bois and heads due north to Saint-Malo. The 197km race is expected to be one for the sprinters - so it's time for Cavendish and Greipel to renew hostilities.

  3. 1552: 

    Race leader Chris Froome was reasonably happy in his post-race interview. Here's what the Briton had to say: That was a really hard day, one of the hardest I've ever had on a bike.

    "I did feel in control in that lead group. Tactically I was able to sit in the wheel of the various team leaders and follow them. It's quite normal for my team-mates to be feeling it a bit. They are human and they cant be doing it every day."

  4.  
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    Mat in Cardiff, via text on 81111: Froome you legend! Great ride, much needed rest tomorrow especially for Porte. Froome will need him desperately when they get into the Alps.

  5. 1541:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    King of the Mountains standings after stage nine:

    1. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar 49

    2. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 33

    3. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 28

    4. Nairo Quintana (Co) Movistar 26

    5. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel 21

  6. 1538:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    Overall standings after stage nine:

    1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 36:59:18"

    2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +1:25"

    3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin +1:44"

    4. Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Belkin +1:50"

    5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff +1:51"

    6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff)

    7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar +2:02"

    8. Daniel Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp +2:28"

    9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha +2:31"

    10. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar +2:45"

  7. 1535: 

    Stage nine result:

    1 Daniel Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp 4hrs 43mins 03secs,

    2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana same time

    3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step +20"

    4 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha same time

    5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha

    Selected others:

    6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing same time

    11 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar

    12 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack Leopard

    13. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff

    14. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky

    19. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar

  8.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom Edwards: Grupetto needs to come in less than 37 minutes down. Come on boys, get a move on!

    Tor Nopphart: Anybody care to tell me why Movistar with 5-6 men didn't attempt to chip away Froome's lead during the last climb?

    Ben Davies: Today froome showed his class. If he does win it, I feel today will prove more important than yesterday's victory. #bbctdf

  9. 1528:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    That was the start of the dismantling of the Team Sky train but getting rid of eight of the British-based team's riders is one thing - getting rid of Chris Froome is something else. Nobody was able to distance him on the mountain climbs and he was also able to match them on the flatter sections.

  10. 1525: 
    OUCH!

    I've just seen a replay of Peter Kennaugh's crash from way back near the beginning of the stage for the first time. The Isle of Man rider clipped Ryder Hesjedal and tumbled several feet down an embankment, into some bushes and out of sight. It took a good few seconds for him to emerge from the undergrowth.

  11. 1523: 

    Here's a few words from our stage winner Dan Martin, and if you detect a bit of a West Midlands accent there, it's because the Irishman was Birmingham-born: "I knew the last 30km quite well and I was lucky that Fuglsang came with me because I don't think I'd have survived. I was praying to get caught with 20km to go because my legs were hurting. It has been an incredible team effort today though so I had to finish it off for the guys."

  12. 1520:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    If there is any good news for Team Sky today, it is not only the fact that Froome has retained his yellow jersey but he has actually increased his advantage in the overall standings. With his team-mate Richie Porte, who was in second place at the start of play, 51 seconds adrift, losing more than 15 minutes today, Valverde goes up to second - but he gained no time on Froome and stays 1'25" back.

  13. 1515:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    And here comes the yellow jersey group. Froome is not losing any time to anybody here. They all cross the line together, 20 seconds adrift of Martin.

  14. 1514: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    IRELAND'S DAN MARTIN WINS STAGE NINE OF THE 2013 TOUR DE FRANCE.

  15. 1513: 

    Fuglsang is leading, with Martin stalking him - they can afford to play a bit of cat and mouse in the finishing straight. Fuglsang weaves left and then Martin goes for it, sweeps round a left-hand bend and is in the box seat here.

  16. 1512: 

    Porte is almost 15 minutes off the pace - his podium hopes have been shattered today. But here come the leaders under the Flamme Rouge - 1km to go.

  17. 1511: 

    Fuglsang and Martin are sharing the workload at the front of the race and they have just 2km remaining. "If they continue in this vain, it's going to be hard-pushed for the guys behind them to catch up," says Rob Hayles on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  18.  

    Garmin-Sharp's Christian Vande Velde on Twitter: Have to give the upper hand to @DanMartin86 in the sprint today. But after a stage like today, all bets are off.

  19. 1508:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    Contador flashes a smile to the TV camera but he surely cannot be happy to have Froome still on his wheel. Psychologically this must have been almost as good-a-day for the British rider than Saturday, when he rode away from all his main rivals on the final climb. We are into the final 4km and the two out front are 35 seconds clear.

  20. 1506: 

    Ireland's Martin started the stage 2'48" behind Froome so he is no threat to the yellow jersey at this stage of the race. But will he have the legs in the closing 5km to beat Danish rider Fuglsang?

  21. 1505: 

    Froome is looking more relaxed than he has done at any other stage today, tracking Contador. The Spaniard's team-mate Kreuziger takes up the pace but this group is starting to look around at each other - this is looking good for Martin and Fuglsang out front who have upped their advantage to 29 seconds in the last couple of kilos.

  22. 1502: 

    A Belkin rider is suddenly on the front of the yellow jersey peloton - he will be riding for Bauke Mollema, who started the day in fourth place, just 1'44 behind Froome - 19 seconds behind Valverde. And they are chasing down the leading duo. The lead is just 25 seconds with 10km remaining.

  23.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stuart in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: Re Simon (14:12). The only reason it was always Team Sky at the front was because no other team would do any chasing as they didn't want to help Wiggo and co in anyway.

    Dave in Southport, via text on 81111: Fantastic race at the front, but what about the sprinters (Cav, Kittel, Greipel)? Will they make the cut with a high pace today?

    Only time will tell Dave!

  24. 1458: 

    Garmin-Sharp's Martin and Astana's Fuglsang are 37 seconds clear of the yellow jersey group as they speed under the 15km to go banner. Can they stay out there and win a stage that will go down in Tour history as one of its finest?

  25. 1456: 

    Quintana is pulling the yellow jersey group along - Froome is five riders back and keeping in touch on this descent. The Colombian is the best young rider in the race and wearing the white jersey today. However, his rival in that competition, Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team has gone down the road chasing Martin and Fuglsang..

  26. 1453:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Result of the final climb of the day - the category one Hourquette d'Ancizan:

    1. Martin (GRS) 10pts

    2. Fuglsang (AST) 8pts

    3. Poels (VCD) 6pts - at 33"

    4. Kreuziger (TST) 4pts - 45"

    5. Froome (SKY) 2pts

    6. Schleck (RTL) 1pt

  27. 1452: 

    If you want proof how big a day of pain this has been - the time check back to Porte is worth looking at. The Australian, who looked so strong on Saturday, is 11'50" behind the leading duo as he crests the final climb of the day.

  28. 1449:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    The German GP has finished and that means Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles are live on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra with the closing 23km of today's stage.

  29.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lawrence Vinicombe: Flicking between the tour and Wimbledon don't know about Froome but my remote is going to be worn out. #bbctdf

  30. 1446: 

    It's not quite all downhill on the way to Bagneres-de-Bigorre - there is a short-sharp climb that the riders are currently negotiating. Is this a final opportunity for someone to attack Froome?

  31. 1445: 

    Contador is a brilliant descender - will he be able to pick up a few precious seconds on Froome? He's surely not going to get too much time back because Froome, while not the best at going downhill, is no slouch.

  32. 1443: 

    Wout Poels of Vacansoleil and Roman Kreuziger attack Froome just before the summit and they are allowed to go. Kreuziger riders for the Saxo-Tinkoff team of Contador. Froome reaches the summit with the rest of the bunch. That has been a terrific effort the yellow jersey.

  33. 1440: 

    We are into the final kilometre of this climb. Martin and Fuglsang are 46 seconds clear of Froome's group. Lots of orange jerseys in support of the Euskaltel riders as we are as close to the Basque country as we will get on this Tour. The riders must feel like Moses parting the Red Sea as the fans step back and allow them to pass through as they crest the summit, sip up their jerseys and head off down the other side.

  34. 1437: 
    France president Francois Hollande following stage nine of the race

    France president Francois Hollande is in race director Christophe Prudhomme's car today - he's chosen a cracking day to put in an appearance.

  35. 1436: 

    Quintana has another go. The Colombian is trying to soften up Froome but the Brit is a hard racer and he is going nowhere. Martin and Fuglsang are happy up front and away from the fun and games among the GC riders.

    Contador, Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans continue to sit in the shadows as Froome leads the group. He is looking nervously over his shoulder. It's a tough ask - sit on a wheel and risk getting boxed in, or stay on the front and risk being surprised?

  36. 1433:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra coverage was scheduled to start at 14:30 BST - the F1 Grand Prix is over running though - Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles will be live shortly.

  37. 1431: 
    THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    Quintana has another go and Froome again nullifies it. The Colombian goes for a third time and again Froome brings him back. And there's Contador, continuing to bide his time - we are around 3.5km from the summit. The pain is nearly over for Froome. Can he hold this to the summit?

    Martin and Fuglsang are about 100m up the mountain and clear...for now.

  38. 1429: 

    And as I type that, Quintana goes! A flash of yellow from the peloton and Froome is straight into his wheel and the Colombian is going nowhere.

    As that all comes back together, Ireland's Dan Martin goes - Froome looks up and decides he does not need to chase that one down. Jakob Fuglsang is the next to sprint clear and the Astana rider is also allowed to go.

  39. 1426: 

    We are 5km from the summit of the final climb of the day and still nobody has tried to attack Froome. He must be delighted with this considering everything that has gone on today. It has been brutal racing and they will all sleep well tonight.

  40.  
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    Andy in Manchester, via text on 81111: I'm not sure how after 1 day of the mountains Simon from Plymouth can say it beats Sky controlling the race. I expect nothing but that for the remainder of the Tour.

    Ed, via text on 81111: Movistar's tactics look like they've given up on first place and are concentrating on getting second for Valverde.

  41. 1422: 

    Froome is used to riding tempo up a mountain in the Team Sky train. He is just tracking Valverde and Quintana here, waiting for the inevitable attack. I suppose the problem for Movistar is, Froome is a demon in the mountains. Will Quintana try to nick a few second back because Froome has to keep tabs on Valverde and Contador? How about Cadel Evans? Cuddles is also up there.

    Valverde is riding into second place because Porte is almost five minutes back.

  42. 1419: 

    Bardet is about to be caught by the Movistar team but all they are really doing is giving Froome a lift up to the summit - who is going to attack Froome?

    Team Sky's Chris Froome in yellow during stage nine
  43.  
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    David Cox: Movistar are replicating Sky's tempo setting to keep Porte at bay. That is a mistake as that is where Froome is comfortable.

    Alex Maitland: In the end unless Valverde can outride Froome all those team-mates are useless. To win the Tour Valverde must do it, not his team.

    Gordon Howard: Probably the best stage of the tour de France in years and my family insist I watch tennis. #bbctdf

  44. 1414: 

    Bardet is out of his saddle, bike weaving beneath him as he stomps on the pedals, encouraged by fans lining every centimetre of this ascent. Movistar continuing to do a decent impression of Team Sky by riding tempo on the front.

    Froome is going to have to do this all on his own - Porte is more than three minutes behind his Team Sky leader.

  45. 1412: 

    We are on the bottom of the final climb of the day and Bardet immediately goes on the attack. Froome's group is coming up quickly. They swallow Rolland and spit him out the back. Clarke has gone after Bardet but they are only 15 seconds clear.

  46.  
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    Simon from Plymouth, via text on 81111: It certainly makes for better viewing than watching Wiggo and Team Sky repeating the sane tactic every day!

    Alex Winchester, via text on 81111: Trying to keep up with the Tour from a very hot train. John Sweeney - yes, but more importantly he needs teammates that can keep up with this kind if pace - i.e. Uran/Henao. Interesting to think about whether Wiggo would have been useful today.

  47. 1407: 

    The ride through the valley to the next climb is a lovely bit of flat, straight road and all the riders are taking the opportunity to refuel.

    Movistar continue to lead the group that contains Froome. How will they decide to carve up the Brit on the final climb? Will Valverde go? Will Quintana go? And will Contador just sit, wait and then attack when Froome is at his most vulnerable?

  48. 1403: 

    This descent is a good dozen kilometres in length and Clarke has been caught by Rolland, Bardet and De Clercq. There is a brief ride in the valley to follow before the road goes upwards for the final time today.

    The 9.9km ascent of La Hourquette d'Ancizan awaits our riders. The steepest sections of the category one climb are towards the bottom, although with an average gradient of 7.5% there's no easy ride to the summit.

    The race doesn't finish there though - there is a 30km descent into the finish at Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

  49. 1356: 

    Just received a press release from the Tour: The riders of the 100th edition of the Tour de France decided to donate all the gains earned in the 9th stage Saint-Girons / Bagneres-de-Bigorre to the victims of the recent floods in the Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrenees.

    Moreover each team will give a jersey signed by all its riders so that it can be auctioned in order to help the affected citizens.

  50. 1355: 

    The big news is where is Porte? He is riding with AG2R's John Gadret, Movistar's Imanol Erviti, Omega Pharma - Quickstep's Peter Velits and Maxime Mederel of Sojasun. They are 3'20" behind Clarke - that is about 2'15" behind Froome.

  51. 1352:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Result of fourth climb - the category one Col de Val Louron-Azet:

    1. Clarke (OGE) 10pts

    2. Rolland (EUC) 8pts - at 20"

    3. Bardet (ALM) 6pts

    4. De Clercq (LTB) 4pts

    5. Bakelants (RTL) 2pts - at 50"

    6. Castroviejo (MOV) 1pt - at 1'05"

  52. 1350:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    Froome and his Movistar mates are 1'04" back - all the other main contenders are in this group remember and that includes Alberto Contador. The two-time Tour winner has been quite quiet so far. He's been letting the others fight it out - will he pick up the scraps on the final climb of the day?

  53. 1349:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Clarke takes the maximum 10 points for going over the summit first and he is followed about 15 seconds later by Rolland, who takes eight.

  54. 1348: 

    Porte is losing time on the yellow jersey group - that extra bit of effort from the Movistar boys has hurt the Australian and he is two minutes adrift again.

  55. 1346:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    We are inside the final 60km of today's stage as Clarke goes past the 1km to the summit banner. Hundreds of fans lining the road, getting in close the cyclists as they push on to the top of the hill. Rolland, perhaps learning from the Peyresourde, is tracking De Clerq.

  56.  
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    Dan Rees: Madness in the Pyrenees! @teamsky in desperate need of rest day Monday. Chris Froome left very vulnerable. Lack of climbers hurting...But wouldnt count Porte out just yet. Long as he doesnt panic and paces himself reasonably, has it in him to get back with Froomey.

    Conor Spackman: The only Movistar who isn't with Froome is Clark Gable.

  57. 1340:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Bart de Clerq of the Lotto Belisol team, Pierre Rolland of Europcar and Romain Bardet of the AG2R team are just 25 seconds behind Clarke as they head towards the summit - will current King of the Mountains Rolland put in a bit of a spurt?

    Porte goes past a couple of Movistar riders and it's no coincidence that a few seconds later the remaining riders from that team inject a bit more pace at the front of the group.

    Porte is desperately trying to get back to Froome before they reach the summit so he can recover a bit on the descent. Will he do it?

  58.  
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    Porte is having an incredible solo ride on the Col de Val Louron-Azet. He is 5km from the summit and about 70 seconds behind the yellow jersey. He has other riders as carrots and is zipping by them one-by-one. A quick chuckle as he realises he is on screen and on he goes.

    Will he catch Froome? Should Froome wait for him and then the two of them go all out on the final mountain? Texts to 81111, tweets #bbctdf

  59.  
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    John Sweeney in Leytonstone, via text on 81111: Uran is a very strong climber but he ìs not very good at following orders. Froome needs domestiques in his team, not rivals.

    Graham Fulcher, via text on 81111: If it doesn't look like Porte will get back, then at some point the best tactics for Froome would be to attack (if he can) and try to even the numbers up a bit.

  60. 1329: 

    And here's Porte with no riders around him. Is he racing clear of the bunch he was with, or losing contact? The way his legs are spinning, I would suggest he's trying to get up to Froome's group. Kennaugh has been dropped from that group though.

    Hesjedal's hopes of a stage win appear to be over - he is losing touch with his fellow escapees, so there is just Bardet, Rolland and De Clerq chasing Clarke.

  61. 1327: 

    The race behind is so fascinating that I keep forgetting to check on the tete de la course. Simon Clarke, the last man to join the breakaway, rode clear on the descent and he is 30 seconds clear as they start the 7.4km slog up Col de Val Louron-Azet.

    The Orica GreenEdge rider is 96 seconds clear of the yellow jersey group.

  62.  
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    Tom Grigson: Froome's done well to stick with rivals Movistar pushing the pace may burn Sky but will also burn themselves. Porte to bring it back.

    Tadhg Reddan: Re 1241 I hope that isn't @DanMartin86 in church, he might lose some time on this climb if he is.

  63. 1321: 

    Kennaugh and Porte remain around 90 seconds behind the Movistar-led yellow jersey group which briefly slows down to grab their musettes - they really don't want to miss out on food today. I made the schoolboy error of running out of sandwich material at home and I'm left with one small chocolate bar to keep me going until the race ends.

  64.  

    Team Sky: This is certainly a stage that will live long in the memory. @Petekennaugh is riding to help Porte bridge back but it's a tough ask.

  65. 1316:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    The six breakaway riders scooping up all the points on offer but they have been joined by Orica GreenEdge rider Simon Clarke so our leading group is now up to seven. This descent is only 10km or so in length and then we are straight into climb number four of five - the Col de Val Louron-Azet.

    This next mountain takes us up to the highest point on today's stage, at 1,580m. It is a 7.4km ascent at an average of 8.3% with some slopes of more than 10%.

  66. 1312:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Result of third climb - the category one Col de Peyresourde:

    1. De Gendt 10pts

    2. Rolland 8pts

    3. De Clercq 6pts

    4. Hesjedal 4pts

    5. Bardet 2pts

    6. Bakelants 1pt

  67. 1312: 

    Right then, how's your descending skills? Froome is taking time to have a quick munch on some grub as he trails the Movistar train down the mountains. He will be hearing in his earphone that Kennaugh and Porte are also over the top. They are 1'16 back. Kennaugh descended like a demon yesterday, can he repeat the trick today?

  68. 1309:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Rolland looks set to take the 10 points of offer as first over the summit of the Peyresourde but here comes Thomas De Gendt into his wheel and the Belgian Vacansoleil rider sprints past the bewildered Frenchman who has no answer.

  69.  
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    John, via text on 81111: Cavendish finished below the cut off twice in 2011 (S18 and 19), was hit with points deductions as a punishment, yet still won the green jersey. The tour are unlikely to chuck him and the rest of the sprinters out, as long as they stay in a group! That would be suicidal by the organisers. Touch wood.

    Tom in Bristol today (but normally in Salisbury), via text on 81111: Cut off time 7% if winner's average is below 30kph and goes up about 1% for every 1kph increase in speed, up to 18% for a speed over 40kph. I'd imagine about 34kph today, so probably about 12%.

    Ben, via text on 81111: This stage is reminding me of the Vuelta last year where Contador isolated and then rode away from Purito to effectively win the Vuelta. Stay strong Chris!

  70. 1304:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    The leaders are nearing the top of the Peyresourde. Around 2km to go and the polka-dotted Rolland is leading the way but the breakaway is now just 35 seconds clear of the Movistar-led yellow jersey group. Will this come back together before the top? Who will be next to attack?

  71.  
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    Matthew Underwood: Froome has got to stick with Valverde in cut his losses! Backing Valverde to win with so many of his team carrying him along.

    Matthew Stuckey: Think Cav is a gonner today!! I hope not but this is too quick for him!

    Peter Blyth: Froome sent Porte back to get the rest of team Sky back up at the front - told him he he could take the first 3 climbs on his own? #bbctdf

  72. 1259: 

    Movistar, with Valverde and Quintana in their team, have six riders pushing the pace in Froome's group. Froome has infiltrated them and is fourth wheel, tracking Quintana who is wearing the white jersey today as the race's best young rider.

    They are desperate to stop Kennaugh and Porte from getting back to Froome.

  73. 1255: 

    Three other Team Sky riders, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas are also in that group with Porte and Kennaugh - although I'm not sure whether they have done their work and are about to exit out of the back door.

  74. 1254: 

    Former yellow jersey wearer Jan Bakelants has joined the four up front, as has De Gendt, to make it a sextet leading the race. The yellow jersey group is 45 seconds behind and is being lead by a couple of Movistar riders.

    Peter Kennaugh is with Richie Porte in the group behind and they are catching up. They are just 65 seconds behind Froome and I imagine there will be hugs all round when those three are reunited.

  75. 1249: 

    Ah...that cut off time. I'm reasonably sure that all riders have to finish within 13% of the time of the winner of the stage or face elimination from the race (I'm sure one of you good people will correct me if I'm wrong!)

    The race officials are expected to be pretty hot on implementing that rule and with the pace being high up front, that could spell trouble for the sprinters. Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel will be urging each other along in the grupetto and will Geraint Thomas, with his fractured pelvis, make it?

  76.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Daniel Martin: Following #bbctdf commentary in church is hard work.

    Barnaby Chesterman: I wouldn't put it past @TeamSky to just do their thing and bring Porte back up to the lead peloton before the final climb.

    Andrew Hill: If Froome stays in yellow today, it'll be one of the great rides of the clean era. Sprinters going to struggle to make time cut off.

  77. 1241: 

    I did have lots of quotes and Tweets from various riders lined up to help get us through today's stage but the action so far has been so intense that there's just not been the time.

    Anyway, with things settling down, here's what Alberto Contador had to say about his performance on Saturday on Twitter: Good morning, yesterday I had not good legs, but was incredible, I was thrilled by your support on the climb.Thanks ;-)

    I think Alberto's legs are a little stronger today.

  78. 1238:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    Right, let's have a little look at where we're at. Bardet, Rolland, Hesjedal and De Clerq are the four riders at the head of the course. The yellow jersey group, which includes Froome and his main rivals, Valverde and Contador are 1'16" behind. The Team Sky-led peloton is a further 1'40" down the mountain.

  79. 1230:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    The leaders are on to the third of today's five mountain ascents - it's the longest and arguably most famous of the lot. The Col de Peyresourde is a 13.2km climb with an average slope of 7% - what will this mountain bring us...

  80.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Garmin-Sharp rider Christian Vande Velde on Twitter: Carnage. Saxo missing the boat. @Ride_Argyle and Movistar making this the best stage in the last 20 years.

    Vande Velde was forced to abandon this year's race through injury but is obviously keeping tabs on what is a terrific stage in the Pyrenees.

  81. 1225: 

    And then come the shots of the group chasing the yellow jersey and guess who is leading that pack along? Yep, it's the Team Sky train. Four riders, including Richie Porte, are together and they are about three minutes behind Froome's group. Are they going to get back on? Incredible stuff.

  82. 1224: 

    Here comes the intermediate sprint and the five out front roll over the line without contesting the points. They want to save some energy for the three mountains to come in the final 95km of this stage. And there finally appears to have been a truce called in the yellow jersey group, which is back up to about 30 riders again.

  83. 1221: 

    Froome and his Movistar companions catch the seven ahead of them and the British rider tracks Valverde as he makes his way straight to the front of the group. Just as Froome thinks he may be in for a few easy kilometres, he is attacked again. How much more can one man take?

  84.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris Parrott: This isn't rope-a-dope tactics. Team Sky aren't that strong. Why was Uran allowed to ride the Giro? He'd be the perfect team-mate.

    Edu: Movistar are ideally positioned to control this race. Will have to wait and see how their tactics go.

    Barry Hughes: Is Froome starting to realise the value of support riders? Wiggins & Sky did last year - couldn't have done it without Froome & co.

  85. 1215: 

    Chris Froome really is right out on a limb here. He is shadowing Valverde and his Movistar team-mate's Jonathan Castroviejo and Plaza. They are around 35 seconds behind a leading group of five. There are seven riders inbetween the two groups. Contador is sitting pretty behind one of his Saxo-Tinkoff team-mates Nic Roche - they are in a group about 20 seconds adrift of Froome's quartet.

  86.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andrew Harvey: I think the situation has gone slightly to Froome's head! Should have stayed with his team, employed the usual devastating tactics.

    Oliver Jones: Froome had to go with the Contador group. Time for him to show his full muscles. The rest day could save Sky.

    James Ostick: Biggest mistake for Sky was not including Henao or Uran who are amongst the best climbers this season.

  87. 1208: 

    Valverde had a brief chat with his team-mate Ruben Plaza Molina before both riders leapt out of their saddles and sped off down the road. Froome had a quick look round and then decided he had to give chase. Contador is playing the waiting game and is now in a group a few seconds back with Evans - the Australian is back in the mixer. Amazing scenes.

  88. 1207: 

    Five riders have gone clear they are Garmin duo Hesjedal and Danielson, Europcar's Rolland, Igor Anton of Euskaltel and Katusha's Trofimov. They are one minute clear of Froome's group. And poor old Froome - are you feeling sorry for him? And here goes Movistar's Valverde - Froome has to try and track him - Valverde is third overall and just 1'25" down.

  89. 1202:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    In all the excitement, I almost forgot to update you with the result of that second climb. Rolland, I think, doing enough to make the jersey his own, rather than borrowing it from Froome.

  90. 1200:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Results for second climb - the category one Col de Mente:

    1. Danielson (GRS) 10pts

    2. Hesjedal (GRS) 8pts

    3. Trofimov (KAT) 6pts

    4. Anton (EUS) 4pts - at 10"

    5. Rolland (EUC) 2pts

    6. Quintana (MOV) 1pt - at 55"

  91. 1156: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Is this rope-a-dope tactics from Team Sky? Let everyone else burn themselves out on the opening couple of climbs and hit back on the three to come?

    Or is it a case of rope-a-dope from the likes of the Movistar and Saxo-Tinkoff teams - let Team Sky burn themselves out on the first mountain stage and hit them hard on the second?

    Or could Froome's Team Sky lieutenants be genuinely all shot after yesterday's efforts?

    Tweet me #bbctdf or text 81111.

  92.   
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    On Twitter: This is turning into some stage. On only the 2nd climb of 5, Froome has no team mates with him anymore. Even Porte. Sky riders all dropped.

  93. 1151: 

    As we approach the summit of the Col de Mente, Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal heads off out of the yellow jersey group and rides across to his team-mate Danielson and Katusha's Trofimov. Froome follows Contador over the top about 23 seconds adrift. The Spanish rider appears to be trying to garner the help of riders from other teams to help attack Froome.

    It's like watching a piece of meat being dropped into the middle of a dozen sharks. They are all circling at the moment but they are going to attack soon and Froome could well be helpless.

  94.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Small Man Peaky: Very poor tactics by Froome, dropping all his support riders way too early. Going to be very isolated on the last few cat 1 climbs.

    Tom Edwards: Still think Froome will win #TDF, but the lack of genuine climbers in Sky's squad is a little concerning especially with Alp D'Huez.

  95. 1141: 

    It's all still a little confusing out on the road and I'm trying to make sense of it all for you. One thing for certain is that Porte is going backwards. He has been overtaken by Cadel Evans and is more than one minute behind Froome.

    Froome is in a group of about 30 riders who were briefly at the head of the race. But Garmin's Tom Danielson has again gone on the attack, this time with Katusha's Yury Trofimov.

  96. 1137: 

    Has Froome been isolated again? I can't see Richie Porte in his usual position in front of his Team Sky leader. Ominously for the race leader, the Saxo-Tinkoff team of Alberto Contador have half a dozen riders in that group. Here is Porte and he is definitely behind Froome, who is on his radio, probably asking "Where is everybody?"

  97. 1134: 

    Cadel Evans is another who has found this opening pace too tough. The 36-year-old, who won the 2011 Tour, is already more than 40 second behind Froome's group. The yellow jersey group is about a dozen seconds or so behind a group of 15 or so riders at the head of the race.

  98.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stuart, via text on 81111: The TDF is 2 weeks from being over, as that crash for Kennaugh shows there are risks everywhere. Froome and Sky's performance yesterday was incredible but they're a long way from Paris and will have to control the racing, control breakaways. It's gonna be tough but a huge amount of leg work has been done.

  99. 1128: 

    The main riders to benefit from all this are Alejandro Valverde, who is third overall, one minute 25 seconds behind Froome, Nairo Quintana and Contador. They are just following Porte and Froome and essentially getting a free ride up the second climb of the day - the category one ascent of the Col de Mente. This is a 7km mountain with a 7.7% average gradient

  100. 1124: 

    The race is refusing to settle down. Four riders look like they might set up a nice break but Nic Roche of Alberto Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff team attacks off the front of what is left of the peloton - let's call it the yellow jersey group. Porte jumps into his wheel and that closes the break down.

  101. 1120: 

    Riders are all over this first mountain - if it was carnage in Corsica - this is pain in the Pyrenees. The average speed of Jeannesson on that climb was 24.4km/h and it has blown this race wide open. Froome has finally found a team-mate - and it's that man Richie Porte. Breath easier everyone.

  102. 1117:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Result of category two climb - Col de Portet d'Aspet:

    1. Jeannesson (FDJ) 5pts

    2. Martin (GRS) 3pts

    3. Danielson (GRS) 2pts

    4. Niemiec (LAM) 1pt

  103. 1117:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    France's Arnold Jeannesson, of the FDJ team is the first rider over the summit of the first climb of the day. He picks up five King of the Mountains points.

  104. 1114: 
    THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

    This is an incredible start to the stage. Chris Froome has been isolated. The Team Sky rider is comfortable riding up towards the front of the race but he has no team-mates with him as Garmin-Sharp go on the attack again as they reach the summit of the Col de Portet d'Aspet.

  105.   
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter

    On Twitter: French press thinks it's over. L'Equipe - 'KO: 1st round'. Aujourd 'hui - 'Froome knocks out Le Tour' JDD - 'Vroum-Vroum Froome'

  106. 1110: 

    I will have a little review of yesterday's stage and the overall standings in a short while - let's just sort out this opening excitement first.

    Ruben Plaza Molina of the Movistar team and Rolland have gone off the front of the bunch of escapees but Garmin-Sharp, who said they would cause chaos in the mountains, are doing just that and have closed down that attack.

    There are about 20 riders in this front bunch but they are fairly well strung out. Team Sky, without Kennaugh are leading the peloton. 141km remaining today.

  107. 1105:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Millar and Bauer's hopes of having a peaceful ride in through the Pyrenees have been shattered - a dozen or so other riders have bridged the gap. I can see the polka dot clad Pierre Rolland among them.

    Froome is the leader in the King of the Mountains classification but as he's also the race leader, he wears the yellow jersey and Frenchman Rolland, who is second in the hill-climbing category gets to wear the red spotted top.

  108. 1102: 
    OUCH!

    And just as I'm typing that, there's a bit of a spill in the peloton - and that is Peter Kennaugh who has gone down. The Team Sky rider, who was a big cog in the climbing engine that put Froome into yellow on Saturday, ends up in a roadside ditch and he's got a couple of cuts on his arm there.

  109. 1100: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Now the racing has settled down a touch, let's get on to today's talking point. And who else can we discuss but race leader Chris Froome?

    Can anyone remember a more dominant piece of mountain climbing than yesterday's sprint up to Ax 3 Domaines? I know there's a long way to Paris, but is it race over? I also want your stage predictions for today...will Team Sky keep control of the peloton? Will any of the GC contenders attack? Surely it's a day for Tommy Voeckler?

    Tweet me #bbctdf or text 81111. Please remember to put your name on otherwise you'll be left melting in the sun. And putting Cycling at the front of your message would be a great help, because there's a little tennis match going on this afternoon as well.

  110. 1052:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    The riders are going predominantly uphill for the opening 29km of today's stage with the Col de Portet d'Aspet the first of the five mountainous challenges for them to tackle. The category two climb is 5.4 km in length with an average slope of 6.9%.

    Attacks continuing off the front of the race with Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing having a dig but he is brought back by the Team Sky-led peloton (I wonder how many times I'll type that today). Millar and Bauer making this break stick though and are 35 seconds clear.

  111. 1046: 

    It's a fairly animated start to racing today with several riders attacking off the front of the peloton but it appears as though two Garmin-Sharp riders are establishing an advantage - they are Britain's very own David Millar and Jack Bauer - no, not that one - the 28-year-old New Zealand rider.

  112.  

    Le Tour de France: Stage 9 - St-Girons / Bagneres-de-Bigorre - 168,5km No less than 5 climbs for the biggest Pyrenean Stage!

    Stage 9 map
  113. 1036: 

    The riders have just left today's start town, Saint-Girons, which, according to the Tour website is located at a crossroads between 18 different valleys. That man Johnny Hoogerland is the first to chance his arm but the peloton are not letting him go off today. There are five mountains and 168.5km of racing to get through in the next five hours or so.

  114. 1033: 

    Hello and welcome to live text commentary of stage nine of the 2013 Tour de France. It's an early start and early finish for the riders today because the whole of the Tour takes a plane, train, or automobile north tonight for Monday's rest day ahead of Tuesday's racing through north-western France.

  115. 1030: 

    Tour de France race leader Chris Froome on Twitter: Feel so privileged to be wearing the TDF yellow jersey after [Saturday's] stage. It's an absolute honour but there's still a long way to Paris!

    Chris Froome

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