On a day when we were expecting all the action to happen on the descent of the Col de Manse, Rubén Plaza made a brilliant tactical decision and attacked on the ascent. His minute advantage as he crested the summit was more than enough to hold a rampaging Peter Sagan at bay to take the biggest victory of his career and ensured that his Lampre-Merida team get to crack open the bubbly tonight. The GC contenders flexed a few muscles with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) gaining a few seconds with a trademark attack.
This image sums up Chris Froome‘s valiant defensive ride on Sunday’s stage nine, as he attentively tracks Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, who is in turn being pulled along by teammate Ruben Plaza. Sky’s team leader never let Valverde out of his sight all day.