This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 16 °C Friday 23 August, 2019
Advertisement

Nico Roche hangs on for sixth in blistering Tour de France stage

South African Daryl Impey stormed to victory on Bastille Day.

Nico Roche during Sunday's ninth stage.
Nico Roche during Sunday's ninth stage.
Image: Getty Images

IRELAND’S NICOLAS ROCHE held on for sixth, as South African Daryl Impey won stage nine of the Tour de France leaving local fans to settle for Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe keeping hold of the yellow jersey on Bastille Day.

Mitchelton-Scott rider Impey was part of a mass breakaway that quickly opened a 10-minute gap and extended it throughout the race with the pack eventually trailing in 16 minutes adrift.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas and the other overall title contenders finished together in a low-key ending after allowing the 14-man break to open up an uncatchable lead on the 170km run.

“That was a really tough race. I’m so happy to win on 14 July,” said Impey.

The 2019 Tour Down Under winner and all-rounder won a Tour de France team time-trial back in 2013, and a few days later took the overall lead to become his nation’s first yellow jersey holder.

“This is my greatest ever victory, just as good as wearing the yellow jersey, nothing can top this,” he said. “It was a tough, solid day.”

Impey is a teammate of the British Yates twins, with Adam angling for the overall title this year.

“There’s no way I was getting involved in a breakaway today, but I expected a select bunch sprint,” team leader Adam said.

France Cycling Tour de France Daryl Impey. Source: Thibault Camus

After a frantic day over seven mountains on Saturday, the stage embarked from the Saint-Etienne football stadium in a festive Bastille Day atmosphere with many fans shouting for local man Romain Bardet as well as Alaphilippe.

“This is a day I’ll never forget,” said the overall leader.

“All those people shouting my name, it really is something and my grandfather was there at the finish line, so it was really special.”

The race finished in Bardet’s hometown of Brioude, where the title of the local newspaper ‘La Montagne’ aptly describes the surrounding terrain.

The 7,000 locals and the great number of visitors were getting ready to celebrate Sunday night with a Boney M tribute band, while Michelin Guide three-star tourist attraction, the Basilique Saint-Julien, was plastered with a massive image of Bardet on its walls for the occasion.

- © AFP 2019 

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (2)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel