Tour de France 2021: Stage 9 – Ben O’Connor solos to a heartwarming victory, Pog keeps yellow

One of those Tour de France stages where nothing really happens and then everything happens at once … near the end. And crazy stuff happened today in Stage 9 in the green jersey competition and the King of the Mountains jersey competition. We had a worthy winner on a cold, wet day in Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citroen Team), who not only wasn’t even supposed be in the break but ended the day second in the GC! And we had Ineos giving Tadej Pogacar a launch pad from which to put even more time into his rivals and stay firmly in yellow.

Stage recaps

Here’s a handy emoji recap of the stage … and the official highlights reel

Ben’s Big Day Out

He wasn’t supposed to be in the break. But when you see an opportunity in the Tour de France, you’ve got to take it.

If you don’t follow members of #CouchPeloton, you must. They’re a dedicated bunch of Aussie cycling fans who stay up late and post up sassy tweets to amuse us all. They deserve a wild win every so often!


Ineos – the new Movistar?

All day, UAE were on the front of the yellow jersey group, letting the various breaks get all kinds of minutes racked up. But as anyone who was a threat was in that group – or behind it, in the gruppetto – things were fairly steady. Until, after some hard riding by UAE to make sure that Ben O’Connor got out of the virtual yellow that he was, they stopped riding – maybe thinking not a bad idea to lose the yellow for a few days because Pogacar would always get it back – so Ineos Grenadiers decided to go for it on the front.

Why? Theories abound …

There were people who believed in what Ineos were doing.

Uncanny, isn’t it.

The official explanation

Then there were fans that were unhappy that Ineos were riding Ben O’Connor out of the virtual yellow.

And what the real Movistar did …

Quintana goes quickly

Nairo Quintana said he would be targetting the polka dot jersey. I scoffed.

But he went for it

And then it looked like he was going to go for the stage win, riding with Michael Woods for a time, before O’Connor bridged up, and then Quintana nearly came to a standstill by the side of the road.

But the fight goes on

This is really rather touching

Going for green

Sonny Colbrelli was in the break and had a plan. Maximum points because he wants green. Michael Matthews was there as well, but Cavendish and most of the other sprinters were already out the back.

And then he just kept right on riding out in front.

And this happened. Really. It did.

With practically all the other sprinters in the gruppetto – and the time limit so tight – it looked like Colbrelli might get green by default. If the large gruppetto had come in outside the time limit, they probably would have been able to stay but Cav would have lost all his green jersey points. Luckily for him, he came in inside the time limit. Get the tissues out, it’s more tears.

Other riders were not so lucky

This particular clip is quite moving. We’ll see you again, Nic!

Nic Dlamini (Qhubeka) participated in his 1st Tour de France. He finished the 9th stage at 1 hour and 24 minutes from Ben O’Connor, far from the deadlines at 37’20”. The 25-year-old South African fell in a descent. But he wanted to finish, it was 7pm.

What we’ve learned

The last word

The final word


Stage 9 Top 5

1 Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citroen Team) 4:26:43

2 Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +5:07

3 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) +5:34

4 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +5:36

5 Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) +6:02

General Classification Top 10

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 34:11:10

2 Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citroen Team) +2:01

3 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) +5:18

4 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:32

5 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +5:33

6 Enric Mas (Movistar) +5:47

7 Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe) +5:58

8 Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) +6:12

9 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +7:02

10 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +7:22

10 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +6:41

All the Jerseys

Leaders jersey : Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

Points jersey: Mark Cavendishย (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

KOM jersey : Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

Best young rider jersey :ย Tadej Pogacarย (UAE Emirates)

Most combative rider : Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citroen Team)

For full stage review, go toย cyclingnews

Official Tour de France website is here

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