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Roche holds top ten spot as Wiggins tightens grip on yellow

Posted 09 July 2012

Nicolas Roche did a fine job to limit his losses and to preserve his place in the top ten of the Tour de France during the stage nine individual time trial which was full of surprises.
Race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) tightened his grip on the yellow jersey with a supreme performance on the 41.5 kilometre course, stopping the clock at 51’24” to snatch the stage from teammate Chris Froome with Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) a distant third at 57 seconds.
While Wiggins’ time was full 35 seconds faster than Froome it was all the more impressive for taking 1’43” out of defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC) and 2’07 out of fellow GC contender Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) has put a lot of work into improving his time-trialling this year and he had good reason to be satisfied with his performance having contained his losses to 3’08” to finish a respectable 23rd.
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) dropped 4’46” having suffered a head cold in recent days although that performance was notable for helping him to climb almost twenty places to 67th in the GC.
Wiggins though has hit a new gear in the race, extending his lead over Evans to 1’53” while Froome has dislodged Nibali in third spot with an overall deficit of 2’07”.
Roche is holding some very good company in the top ten which also includes Denis Menchov (Katusha), Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Radioshack-Nissan) Maxime Monfort (Radioshack-Nissan), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) who has retained his lead in the best young rider classification and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol).
The race returns to action on Wednesday after its first rest day with the 194.5 kilometre stage from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine including the hors category Col du Grand Colombier.
Tour de France
Stage 9: Arc et Semans – Besancon (ITT), 41.5 kilometres
1.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:51:24
2.  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:35
3.  Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:57
4.  Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:06
5.  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:01:24
6.  Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:43
7.  Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:01:59
8.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:07
9.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:02:08
10. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:02:09
23. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 3 minutes, 08 seconds
51. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Shapr at 4 minutes, 46 seconds
General classification after stage 9:
1.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 39:09:20
2.  Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:53
3.  Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:07
4.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
5.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:02
6.  Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:19
7.  Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23
8.  Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:14
9.  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:20
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:29
67. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 32 minutes, 03 seconds

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