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Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 16:05 UK

Ricco claims second stage victory

Riccardo Ricco
Ricco celebrates after crossing the line in Bagneres de Bigorre

Italy's Riccardo Ricco claimed his second stage win of this year's Tour de France after breaking away on the Col d'Aspin to win in Bagneres de Bigorre.

Ricco launched an explosive attack on the slopes and finished a minute and 17 seconds ahead of the main peloton.

Kim Kirchen stays in yellow, ahead of Cadel Evans, who did not lose any time despite a bad crash earlier in the day.

Britain's David Millar slips from seventh to 25th overall, while his compatriot Mark Cavendish is 151st.

Ricco completed the 224km stage in five hours, 39 minutes and 28 seconds and, after crossing the line, said: "I told you I would win another one."

His victory, on the first day of racing in the Pyrenees, leaves him two minutes and 35 seconds behind Kirchen, in 21st place, but confirms his arrival as the Tour's brightest young climbing talent.

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"I know there's a lot of very strong competitors but I feel very good," the 24-year-old from Formigine said.

"It is important for me to win stages and my legs are very good. I think I am very competitive.

"My particular way of attacking is the only thing I can do to win so I went on the attack today."

A breakaway group containing Sebastian Lang, Aleksandr Kuschynski and Nicolas Jalabert escaped early in the day but the real drama was in the pack when Evans, last year's runner-up, took a tumble.

He crashed on a bend while he was at the front of the peloton which was being led by the Euskaltel team on a relatively flat section.

The Australian's left leg and elbow were badly cut and his jersey was ripped but he got back on his bike and was able to continue.

Euskaltel maintained the chase as the leaders reached the Col de Peyresourde where Jalabert was dropped and Maxime Montfort and King of the Mountains leader David De La Fuente launched off the front to try to close the gap.

The front two stayed away, however, until the Col d'Aspin, when a number of riders launched unsuccessful attacks, including former maillot jaune Stefan Schumacher.

It was Ricco who came to the fore on the slopes, accelerating away from the main pack in the last 30km and reeling in Montfort and De La Fuente before passing Kuschynski and, finally, Lang.

He quickly opened up a lead of over a minute on the peloton as he went over the summit and held on for another impressive victory to match his superb sprint to the line in stage six.

Russia's Vladimir Efimkin was next over the line - more than a minute back - before Cyril Dessel led the yellow jersey peloton home.

Millar was 55th on the day, with Cavendish down in 150th.

De La Fuente keeps the King of the Mountains jersey but Ricco moves up to third in that category.

The race stays in the mountains for Monday's 10th stage, which is a daunting 156km ride from Pau to Hautacam that contains the super-category Col du Tourmalet.


Stage nine results:

1. Riccardo Ricco (Italy/Saunier Duval) 5hrs 39mins 28secs

2. Vladimir Efimkine (Russia/AG2R) +1:04 seconds

3. Cyril Dessel (France/AG2R) +1:17

4. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kazakhstan/Credit Agricole) same time

5. Christian Knees (Germany/Milram) same time

6. Maxime Monfort (Belgium/Cofidis) same time

7. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne) same time

8. Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic/Liquigas) same time

9. Damiano Cunego (Italy/Lampre) same time

10. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine/Silence - Lotto) same time

Selected others:

55. David Millar (GB/Garmin-Chipotle) +4:34

150. Mark Cavendish (GB/Columbia) +28:11

Overall standings (after nine stages):

1. Kim Kirchen (Lux/Columbia) 38hrs 07mins 19secs

2. Cadel Evans (Aus/Silence-Lotto) +6secs

3. Christian Vandevelde (US/Garmin-Chipotle) +44

4. Stefan Schumacher (Ger/Gerolsteiner) +56

5. Denis Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) +1:03

6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Caisse d'Epargne) +1:12

7. Stijn Devolder (Bel/Quick-Step) +1:21

8. Oscar Pereiro (Spa/Caisse d'Epargne) same time

9. Samuel Sanchez (Spain/Euskaltel ) +1:27

10. Carlos Sastre (Spain/Team CSC ) +1:34

Selected others:

25. David Millar (GB/Garmin-Chipotle) +4:31

151. Mark Cavendish (GB/Columbia) +1:12:09

see also
Sanchez seals Tour stage victory
11 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Ricco wins as Kirchen takes lead
10 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Hushovd sprints to Tour success
06 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Valverde triumphs in Tour opener
05 Jul 08 |  Cycling


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