Tour de France: Mauricio Soler wins stage 9

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Profile of stage 9, Val-d’Isère to Briançon.
Image: Afhaalchinees.

Mauricio Soler of Colombia has won stage 9 of the 2007 Tour de France. Michael Rasmussen of Denmark retains the overall lead.

The 159.5 km stage 9 began with a cold start to the Hors Categorie climb up to the Col de l'Iseran (15 km at 6%), followed by the Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier (12 km at 6.7% and 17.5 km at 7%) with a 32 km downhill finish in Briançon.

The Colombian Barloworld rider was the first to top the peak of Col du Galibier and held on during the downhill finish. The chase group finished 38 seconds behind him.

Soler was excited by his stage victory: "It’s an incredible day. I’m living out a dream. I worked very hard to arrive at the finish on my own and I received the superb prize for that effort. I wanted to achieve something for myself in my Tour debut and at 24 years of age, I’ve been able to stamp my name on a stage. Nobody believed I could win here, not even me."

Pre-Tour-favorite, Alexandre Vinokourov, who has been struggling since he crashed on stage 5, lost nearly three minutes the in chase for the yellow jersey and is now in 21st place overall.

"I did what I could," said Vinokourov. "The team worked well again and tried to reduce the gap. It was another horrible day for me."

Linus Gerdemann, who surprised everyone in stage 7, fell out of the top ten overall and had to surrender the white jersey to Alberto Contador.

General classification after stage 9

Rank Rider Team Time
1 Michael Rasmussen Rabobank 43h 52' 48"
2 Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne +2' 35"
3 Iban Mayo Saunier Duval-Prodir +2' 39"
4 Cadel Evans Predictor-Lotto +2' 41"
5 Alberto Contador Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +3' 08"
6 Christophe Moreau AG2R Prévoyance +3' 18"
7 Carlos Sastre Team CSC +3' 39"
8 Andreas Klöden Astana Team +3' 50"
9 Levi Leipheimer Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +3' 53"
10 Kim Kirchen T-Mobile Team +5' 06"