With today's first climb coming early in the stage, Cadel Evans wasted no time attacking the yellow jersey. But it wouldn't last—he was reeled back in by a chase group and kept in check for the remainder of the stage.
Meanwhile, Thor Hushovd was able to win enough sprint points to overtake Mark Cavendish in the green jersey competition.
The final 40 kilometers to Saint-Girons descended from the Category 1 Col d'Agn?s, allowing a four-man breakaway without any GC contenders to remain ahead of the peloton. Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez took advantage of an ill-timed jump by Sandy Casar to sprint to victory. Rinaldo Nocentini's Ag2r-La Mondiale team worked to keep him in yellow for another day, though Astana seemed uninterested in prying the jersey from the Italian.
2006 Tour de France champion Oscar Pereiro abandoned the race today.
Luis Leon Sanchez celebrates his stage victory ahead of Sandy Casar in Saint-Girons.
AP Photo/Laurent Rebours
Stage 8 Results
- Luis Leon Sanchez – Caisse d'Epargne – 4:31:50
- Sandy Casar – Francaise des Jeux +00:00
- Mikel Astarloza – Euskaltel-Euskadi +00:00
- Vladimir Efimkin – Ag2r-La Mondiale +00:03
- Jose Joaquin Rojas – Caisse d'Epargne +01:54
- Christophe Riblon – Ag2r-La Mondiale +01:54
- Peter Velits – Team Milram +01:54
- S?bastien Minard – Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne +01:54
- J?r?my Roy – Francaise des Jeux +01:54
- Thomas Voeckler – Bbox Bouygues Telecom +01:54
Other U.S. Riders
31. Levi Leipheimer – Astana +01:54
32. George Hincapie – Team Columbia-HTC +01:54
33. Christian Vande Velde – Garmin-Slipstream +01:54
38. Lance Armstrong – Astana +01:54
65. David Zabriskie – Garmin-Slipstream +08:12
138. Tyler Farrar – Garmin-Slipstream +23:02
152. Danny Pate – Garmin-Slipstream +23:02
- Rinaldo Nocentini – Ag2r-La Mondiale – 30:18:16
- Alberto Contador – Astana +00:06
- Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:08
- Levi Leipheimer – Astana +00:39
- Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +00:46
176.5K (109.7 miles) - July 11, 2009
• Andorra's capital city, Andorra la Vella hosts the Tour for the first time
• A four-time host, this is the first finish for Saint-Girons
• Sprint Points at: Luzenac, Tarascon-sur-Ariege, Vic d'Oust
• Mountain Passes: Port d'Envalira located at 23.5 kilometers - 23.2km climb to 5.1 percent grade - Category 1; Col de Port at 102km - 11.4km climb to 5.5 percent - Cat. 2; Col d'Agnes at 132.5 - 12.4km to 6 percent - Cat. 1
Image courtesy of www.letour.com
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