Oakley Wins Stage 9, Maintains Overall
Oakley’s Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) countered a late attack by fellow breakaway Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) to win stage 9 of the 2009 Tour de France on Sunday.
The two were the survivors of a 13-rider break that went clear early on in the 160.5km race from Saint Gaudens to Tarbes, which took in two of the most storied climbs of this part of France, the Category 1 Col d’Aspin and the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet.
But the Pyrenean giants came so early in the stage, they had no effect on the battle for the overall victory. Once over the top of the Tourmalet there remained 70.5km to race, all either downhill or flat, and none of the contenders for the overall made a move on either ascent, preferring to ride safely and anonymously in the bunch.
“It was pretty controlled, although it’s never easy,” said Astana’s Lance Armstrong, who remains in third place overall at eight seconds behind race leader Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale). "The tempo was pretty regular as no one really attacked — we just kind of rode our race. I have felt a lot more pain on the Tourmalet.”
There were no changes in the battle for the overall in the third and final day in the Pyrenees as Oscar Freire (Rabobank) led the bunch in 34 seconds later. Oakley’s Nocenti will spend Monday’s rest day admiring his yellow jersey, with Astana’s Alberto Contador and Armstrong in second and third at six and eight seconds back, respectively. Oakley’s Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) had a spot of bad luck when he punctured just outside the 3km limit. But he managed to regain the other hopefuls with the help of former breakaway Jens Voigt.