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Saturday 1 October 2016

Martin moves up to third overall after Stage 9

Daniel Martin Picture: Getty
Daniel Martin Picture: Getty

Irish rider Dan Martin moved up to third place in the Tour de France after another incredible day of racing in the Pyrenees.

Martin finished 14th on Stage 9, a mountainous route to the ski resort of Arcalis in Andorra that crossed a total of five peaks, six and a half minutes behind breakaway stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin). With the closing stages of race passing near to his home in the principality, Martin knew the final climb of the stage well and went on the attack several times to test GC rivals including yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky) as hail and icy rain added to the dramatic conclusion.

The attacks came from all angles in the final kilometres, with Froome, Richie Porte (BMC), Adam Yates (Orica BikeExchange) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) edging clear of the pack in the final stages.

Froome retained the yellow jersey, maintaining his 16-second lead over young rider leader Yates, who led the group home in tenth place on the day.

Etixx QuickStep's Martin sits 19 seconds back after losing two seconds on the line, but stayed ahead of fourth-placed Colombian Quintana, who will pleased to trail Froome by just 23 seconds heading into tomorrow's rest day.

Thursday's stage to Mont Ventoux is likely the next key one for Martin, the site of a famous Froome victory in 2013 en route to winning his first Tour.

There was more bad news for Alberto Contador, as the two-time race winner abandoned the race after suffering crashes and illness earlier in the week.

Already in the race lead, Froome's Team Sky squad were content to allow a large breakaway group, without any genuine overall rivals, to form.

Ireland's Sam Bennett made it safely home to get through a first week ruined by his opening day crash.

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