Ricco wins ninth stage

Bagneres-De-Bigorre, July 13:

Italian rider Riccardo Ricco won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday a day after he suffered a fall.

The 24-year-old Saunier Duval star won his second stage of this year’s edition as he came home 4sec ahead of Russia’s Vladimir Efimkin and 1min 17sec of the first peloton. Ricco had claimed his maiden success in the race on Thursday when he majestically outsprinted Alejandro Valverde and fellow yellow jersey favourite Cadel Evans on the climb to Super-Besse in the sixth stage.

Luxembourg’s Kim Kirchen retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey, while second-placed Evans had a scare as he took a tumble. The 31-year-old did not appear seriously hurt and got back on a new bike to continue the race after crashing and apparently picking up grazes to his left elbow and his thigh. The crash occurred on a bend as he was at the front of the peloton which was being led by the orange-clad Euskaltel team on a relatively flat section.