Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) is assisting Cattaneo, but there’s a big chase behind to bring them back.
Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) is driving a group of ten that have a small gap
The flag drops and they’re off!
As for the other jerseys, Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) remains in the polka-dots as King of the Mountains, although his lead will be under threat now we’re into the proper mountains of the Alps. And Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) remains in white as the best young rider. Having excelled on Friday’s La Planche des Belles Filles summit finish, this will be another test of his climbing ability.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) exchanged some words in the neutralised zone. The former is in yellow and the latter in green, and both have been the outstanding riders of the Tour so far, taking half of all stages between them. Pogačar looked in spirits, and, as ever, extremely relaxed.
The peloton has just rolled out from the start and are in the neutralised zone.
There were no changes to the top ten on GC after yesterday’s stage, when a reduced bunch sprint made it to the finish together. But there’s sure to be movement today, with four climbs on the menu, including the cateogry one Pas de Morgins, crested 12km from the finish.
Ineos Grenadiers will soon be on stage, followed by EF, UAE and finally Jumbo.
After that the riders will roll out of Aigle, ride past the UCI HQ and velodrome and begin the 192.9km stage.
At the start the teams are signing on and talking about what they expect to happen.
🇨🇭🇫🇷 #TDF2022morning routine 🎙 pic.twitter.com/IOJdvEZoopJuly 10, 2022
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COVID is a growing concern at the Tour as case numbers rise in France and in and around the peloton.
Race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has so far shown no chinks in his armour, be it on the cobbles, mountain- finishes or sprints. However, Saturday’s DNS of teammate Vegard Stake Laengen – after the Norwegian returned a positive test for COVID-19 – was both a setback for UAE Team Emirates and an unwelcome reminder that the virus poses its own challenges as well.
“COVID is not a rival, it’s just a virus that can affect things and it can ruin a Tour,” Pogačar said on Saturday, “but the rivals are from other teams like Jumbo, Ineos and other squads.”
After suffering on the cobbles and flat stages, the climbers finally get their day.
🇿🇦 @LouisMeintjes is happy 😃 Because today we are racing in the Alps ⛰ #TDF2022 pic.twitter.com/gSuZ6sLVSIJuly 10, 2022
There are several riders out of the race this morning, for different reasons.
Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education) will not start stage 9 due to a non-COVID-related illness.
Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep) has quit due a left knee injury he suffered at the Tour de Suisse.
There are also reports that Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) is DNS, with reports of a COVID-19 test. His team has still to confirm.
For our detailed stage 9 preview, click below.
The second day of racing for the 2022 Tour de France in Switzerland promises to be by far harder than the first in Lausanne, with the 15.4km Pas des Morgins climb ending just 20km from the finish in Châtel.
It will surely be far too hard for a super puncheur/sprinter like Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and far more suited a breakaway of talented and hungry climbers or perhaps even offer another showdown between Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and his overall rivals.
Pogačar lost UAE Team Emirates teammate Vegard Stake Laegen due to COVID-19 on Saturday morning but gained another four seconds with his third place in the Lasusanne sprint.
He now leads Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) by 39 seconds, with Geraint Thomas at 1:14 and the rest of the top ten spread over two minutes. Pogačar has not yet done enough to secure overall victory but he is clearly in charge and in yellow, with no one so far able to better him on any terrain.
The teams are currently signing on at the start in Aigle. The sun is out in Switzerland and there is real excitement and tension in the air as the riders prepare to face the first Alpine finish of this year’s Tour.
Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews’ live coverage of stage 9 of the Tour de France