Ben O'Connor solos to Mountain Top Victory as Pogacar retains Yellow

Australian Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën) rode away from the breakaway to win stage 9 atop Tignes with a huge margin that catapulted him into second place overall. Behind Tadej Pogacar defended his Yellow Jersey against attacks from Ineos Grenadiers

Ben O'Connor stormed to a surprising stage win in bad weather on stage nine of the Tour de France.

The AG2R Citroën rider made it into the day's breakaway and dropped Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Higuta on the final climb to Tignes with 17km left to go, to win the stage 5 minutes ahead of any of the reminants of the breakaway.

Ben O'Connor solos to Mountain Top Victory as Pogacar retains Yellow

Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) battled to second place on the stage, followed by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) in third.

At one point he was the virtual leader of the race as UAE struggled to control the pace setting in the peloton.

Ineos Grenadiers launched an assault for team leader Carapaz with Porte, Thomas and Castroviejo pulling away from the rest of the field dropping all of Tadej Pogacar UAE teammates.

Richard Carapaz launched an attack to take back time on his rivals and Pogacar followed.

Tadej Pogacar then counter attacked the dwindling main field near the summit of the final climb, extending his lead by another 32 seconds on Carapaz nearest rival for the yellow jersey. 

As a result, Ben O'Connor moved up to second overall, around two minutes down on Pogacar and around 3:30 up on most of the other GC riders and is now a serious GC contender.

Behind, riders who were dropped fromed a groupetto and but struggled to make the time limit, reports are Demare, Guarnieri, Delaplace, De Bod, Dlamini, Vliegen, Coquard were over and are out of the race.

An emotional Green Jersey wearer Mark Cavendish made the time cut, as his Wolfpack teammates including Demare brought him home.

Ben O'Connor said after his stage victory "Just to be here in the first place is already a dream and to achieve this today is testament to everyone who put faith in me over the years – my fiancée, parents, best mates back in Australia, my friends in Andorra and Girona. It’s been a wild ride. It’s mind blowing. It's what you dream of. It's so fulfilling and there's so much joy. I managed to control myself now, compared to when I crossed the line. I’m just loving every moment. I’m just happy AG2R had so much faith in me and it’s just so clear how much happiness the win has brought to me and the team. It's special."

Tadej Pogacar said afterwards ""The weather today was really bad. Yesterday was bad but today was just really really worse, much worse than yesterday. Super cold, raining all day. A lot of guys suffered today in this weather and I'm happy to be over it and have the rest day tomorrow. It's going to be like this but I'm more worried about the hard stages that are coming. That's where I suffer the most and also the competition knows that. So, I try to enjoy these two days."

VIDEO: 2021 Tour de France Stage 9 Highlights

2021 Tour de France Stage 9 Top 10

1 Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 04:26:43
2 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:05:07
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 00:05:34
4 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:05:36
5 Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 00:06:02
6 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:06:02
7 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 00:06:34
8 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 00:06:34
9 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:06:34
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 00:06:34

2021 Tour de France GC after stage 9

1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 34:11:10
2 Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 00:02:01
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 00:05:18
4 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 00:05:32
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 00:05:33
6 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:05:47
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:05:58
8 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 00:06:12
9 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:07:02
10 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:07:22

Tag: tourdefrance
Jul 18 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar wins second consecutive Tour de France title
Jul 17 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar seals straight second Tour de France Victory
Jul 16 2021 - NEWS: Bahrain Victorious jubilant as Mohoric wins his 2nd Tour Stage
Jul 15 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar wins in Mountains again to dominate the Tour
Jul 15 2021 - NEWS: French Police launch nighttime raid on Bahrain Victorious Hotel at the Tour de France
Jul 14 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar wins again atop giant Tour de France mountain Col du Portet
Jul 13 2021 - NEWS: Konrad wins hilly stage 16 as Pogacar retains the yellow jersey
Jul 11 2021 - NEWS: American Sepp Kuss wins Stage 15 of the Tour de France in Andorra
Jul 11 2021 - NEWS: Bauke Mollema delivers stage win at the Tour de France for Trek-Segafredo
Jul 10 2021 - NEWS: Mollema wins Tour de France stage at the foot-hills of the Pyrenees
Jul 08 2021 - NEWS: Nils Politt puts in late attack from the breakaway to Tour de France Stage 12
Jul 07 2021 - NEWS: Wout van Aert attacks on Mont Ventoux to win stage 11
Jul 06 2021 - NEWS: Hat Trick for Mark Cavendish who only needs two more Stage wins
Jul 04 2021 - NEWS: Ben O'Connor solos to Mountain Top Victory as Pogacar retains Yellow
Jul 03 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar storms into yellow jersey by crushing most of his rivals
Jun 26 2021 - EVENT: 2021 Tour De France