Trouble-free run on stage nine

14 Jul 2019

Trouble-free run on stage nine

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Tour de France – Stage nine: Saint-Etienne – Brioude, 170.5km

Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal held station on the Tour de France general classification following the ninth stage.
 
After the dramatic finale to Saturday’s stage, the 170.5-kilometre test was a more relaxed affair, with a celebratory atmosphere in the air on Bastille Day.
 
The Team INEOS GC duo finished safely inside a reduced peloton after the team helped shut down a late attack on the final climb. The trio of Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and fourth-placed George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) went clear on the Cote de Saint-Just. Michal Kwiatkowski hit the front and calmly rode down the move, before a relaxed final run into Brioude.
 
The peloton were content for the breakaway to take the limelight, with 15 riders going clear without being a danger to the yellow jersey. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) took the win in a two-up sprint against Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal).
 
The bunch finish ensured Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) held on to his race lead, with Thomas and Bernal sitting 1:12 and 1:16 back respectively.
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Reaction

- Geraint Thomas

"Obviously we had to be aware of [Bardet's attack]. He's quite far down on GC but Bennett and Richie Porte were there. All three of them you don't want to give them any time back if you don't have to. The boys just controlled it really well and closed it pretty quickly. Other than that it was a pretty stress-free day and quite a nice ride in the end.

"You kind of have those [big GC stages] in mind, but at the same time you want to just concentrate on the here and now and not get too distracted. In the back of your mind you still have to be fuelling well and focusing for the big days to come. One more day and we get a nice little rest day.

"We've got a good atmosphere in the team and we're all riding well together. We're in a decent position and we've had a good start. We'll try and maintain that now and enjoy a bit of downtime on Tuesday."
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 What’s Next?
 
The peloton must face an extra day this year before the opening rest day. Stage 10 looks set to be a battle between the sprinter teams and breakaway artists. If their team-mates can keep the race together the finish into Albi should suit the fast men.

Stage nine result:

1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 4:03:12
2. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) s.t.
3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Merida) +10"
4. Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
5. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
32. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +16:25"
48. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) s.t.


Overall Standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 38:37:36
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +23”
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) +53”
4. George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) +1’10”
5. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1’12”
6. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +1’16”

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