Sandy Casar of Francaise des Jeux wins stage 9 of the Tour de France, taking on the 25.5km climb over Col de la Madeleine and finishing the 204km ride from Morzine.
Casar was well into the final kilometer with Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Alberto Contador (Astana). He held his ground against them and won. Casar came in second place during stages in 2007 and 2009. The Frenchman shares, “When you haven’t experienced it, you don’t know the difference between first and second place. But since 2007, it’s never been the same for me…Second place is horrible. I’ve finished second twice and today I just didn’t want to do it again. The only thing on my mind was victory.”
Schleck wears the yellow jersey for the first time with Contador trailing behind by 41 seconds. Stage 9 seemed to reveal who would be true contenders for champion of the Tour de France. “We’re both at about the same level, although now I have a lead of 41secs,” said Schleck.
On the other hand, Contador now knows that his biggest rival is Schleck. “I know what my aim is now, and which wheel I have to follow – Andy Schleck’s. I think he’s the most dangerous,” said the Spaniard.
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) suffered an unfortunate injury on his left arm which may have contributed to his performance. Halfway through the climb, he started to fall behind and reached the summit seven minutes after Schleck and Contador did. Evans finished stage 9 8:09 behind the duo. “I’m not at my normal level, but when you’re in the yellow jersey at the Tour whether you’re good or not you have to be there…I haven’t seen the results yet but I’m pretty sure it’s over for this year,” said Evans.