Pogacar retains Tour de France overall lead as O'Connor wins stage 9
The temperature was in single figures Celsius and rain fell most of the day
UAE Team Emirates's Tadej Pogacar kept a close eye on his opponents as he retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France after the ninth stage, a 144.9-km mountain trek from Cluses in the northern Alps on Sunday.
Australian Ben O’Connor of the AG2R-Citroen team won the stage from the breakaway, ahead of Italians Matteo Cataneo and Sonny Colbrelli.
O’Connor skipped up the 21km final climb to Tignes leaving other members of his breakaway group, including Colombian pair Nairo Quintana and Sergio Higuita, trailing in his wake.
“It’s mind-blowing, it can make your heart stop and it definitely did that to mine,” said a visibly thrilled O’Connor who dedicated the win to his happy Citroen-AG2R team, his family, girlfriend and mates back in Australia.
The temperature was in single figures Celsius and rain fell most of the day.
“Conditions were atrocious,” O’Connor said and riders looked frozen to the bone at the finish line, many trembling with cold.
Pogacar once again showed he is currently the strongest of the overall contenders as he dropped Ineos pair Geraint Thomas and Richie Carapaz with 4km to go, gaining another 30 seconds in his title defence.
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