Tom Dumoulin wins on top of Andorra Arcalis in Tour de France

Tom Dumoulin won the toughest stage in the Pyrenees of the Tour de France with a solo breakaway in a hailstorm Sunday. Part of an early breakaway, Dumoulin attacked with 12 kilometers remaining in the 184.5k leg from Vielha d’Aran, Spain, to Arcalis in the principality of Andorra.

Dumoulin was part of a big 20-rider breakaway that had escaped after a very hectic start that saw both Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) go on the offensive. He made the selection when the group was whittled down to just 10 riders but as he was up against climbers like Rafal Majka and Thibaut Pinot, he knew that he had to anticipate the final 10km climb.

That’s what he did and he made use of the final flat section to get an advantage of almost a minute. From there he did what he does best as he went into time trial mode and no one managed to bring him back.

While Dumoulin soloed to victory, the GC battle was on and it had already lost an important protagonist and an injured Contador had abandoned with 10km to go. Especially, Richie Porte and Daniel Martin were relentless in the attacks but no one could get clear. Chris Froome was riding unusually defensively as he only attacked twice and as he couldn’t get rid of Nairo Quintana – who didn’t make a single attack – Froome, Quintana, Adam Yates, Martin and Porte arrived together, with the latter two just losing two seconds in the sprint.

Froome of course retained his lead and now has a 16-second advantage over Yates while Martin is 19 seconds behind in third and Quintana fourth at 23 seconds. He can now enjoy a well-deserved rest day before he returns to action in stage 10 which is much flatter. There’s a big climb right from the start – Port d’Envalira is the highest point of the race – but the final 170km are either descending or flat. However, there’s a category 3 climb just 7km from the finish and this could deny the sprinters the chance as it did in 2010 when Alexandre Vinokourov made a late attack here to win his final Tour stage.

Tour de France 2016 – stage 9 results (Vielha val d’Aran – Andorra Arcalis):

1 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)


2 Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida)


3 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)


4 Daniel Navarro (Cofidis)


5 Winner Anacona (Movistar)


6 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)


7 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo)


8 Diego Rosa (Astana)


9 Mathias Frank (IAM)


10 Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)


11 Christopher Froome (Sky)


12 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


13 Richie Porte (BMC)


14 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


15 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team


16 Sergio Henao (Sky)


17 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


18 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)


19 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)


20 Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)



General classification after stage 9:**

1 Christopher Froome (Sky)


2 Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)


3 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


4 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)


6 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


7 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)


8 Sergio Henao (Sky)


9 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)


10 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


11 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)


12 Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff)


13 Fabio Aru (Astana)


14 Richie Porte (BMC)


15 Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin)


16 Geraint Thomas (Sky)


17 Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac)


18 Sébastien Reichenbach (FDJ)


19 Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo)


20 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Katusha)