Luis wins 9th stage
Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez has won Sunday's crash-marred ninth stage of the Tour de France after forming part of a long breakaway in the mountains.other Updated: Jul 11, 2011 01:04 IST
Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez has won Sunday's crash-marred ninth stage of the Tour de France after forming part of a long breakaway in the mountains.
Frenchman Thomas Voeckler finished second, and took over the race leader's yellow jersey from Thor Hushovd.
Veteran Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov abandoned the race after crashing near the halfway point of the 208-kilometer (129.2-mile) trek from Issoire to Saint-Flour in the Massif Central.
Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha was hit by a car late on, and took down Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland with him as he flew sideways off his saddle. Both got up and continued the stage. Defending champion Alberto Contador fell early on, but the Spaniard was unharmed and rode on.
Vinokourov forced out of tour
Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov was forced out of the Tour de France on Sunday after being involved in a huge crash with 90 kms to go in the ninth stage from Issoire.
The crash, which also forced Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck out of the race, prompted the peloton, led by Belgium's Philippe Gilbert and Andy Schleck's Leopard team, to momentarily neutralise the stage as the bunch dramatically eased the pace.
Astana team leader Vinokourov, who was taking part in his last Tour, tumbled into a ditch after a dozen riders fell on the descent from the Pas de Peyrol mountain pass and was taken back to the race ambulance with a suspected hip injury by two team mates.
The Kazakh, 37, finished third in the Tour de France in 2003 and won the Spanish Vuelta in 2006.
Also caught in the crash was Van den Broeck, fifth in the Tour last year.
The Belgian pulled out a few kilometres after the crash with an injured knee and a suspected broken collarbone.
American David Zabriskie was also caught up in the crash and pulled out.
TV car sends Flecha, Hoogerland flying
Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha and Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland survived being hit at speed by a car during a crash-marred ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday.
The car, which bore the markings of France Television, was overtaking their five-strong breakaway group when it pulled in too quickly.
Champion contador crashes again
Reigning champion Alberto Contador's bad luck continued on the Sunday when he crashed for the fourth time in the race. Saxo Bank leader Contador came down 84 km into the 208 km stage from Issoire to Saint-Flour in the hilly Massif Central.