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2018 Tour de France: Stage 9 live race updates, blog

15th July, 2018
Start: Arras Citadelle (8:50pm AEST)
Finish: Roubaix (approx 12:15am AEST)
Distance: 156.5 kilometres
Stage type: Cobblestones
TV: Live, SBS
Online: Live, Cycling Central

Top 10 general classifcation
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) @ 32:43:00
2. Geraint Thomas (Sky) + 0:07
3. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) + 0:09
4. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) + 0:16
5. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) + 0:22
6. Rigoberto Uran (Drapac-Cannondale) + 0:49
7. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) + 0:55
8. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) + 0:56
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) + 0:57
10. Richie Porte (BMC) + 0:57
Peter Sagan is one of the favourites to win on Stage 9 at the 2018 Tour de France. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)
Expert
15th July, 2018
170
1645 Reads

The Tour de France hits the cobblestones on Stage 9, with the peloton sure to be nervous on what is the most anticipated stage of the race. Join The Roar for live coverage from 9:15pm (AEST).

There are quite literally going to be two races within a race as the race moves over a distance of 156.5 kilometres to Roubaix, the finish of the most famous classic on the cycling calendar.

The first of those races will be for the stage, while the second is the battle between the teams to protect general classification riders at the head of the peloton.

There are 15 sections of cobblestones on the route totalling 21.7 kilometres.

The second last sector at Camphin-en-Pévèle, stretching a distance of 1.8 kilometres is likely to be the one where the race cracks in half. The final sector going from Willems to Hem is a three-star section, but it’s 1.4 kilometres in length and just seven from the finish line.

When it comes to the stage, it’s hard to look past Peter Sagan. He is the best rider in the world bar none on the flatlands and has handled himself on the cobbles before. If he gets to the sprint, he will win.

Greg Van Avermaet, in the yellow jersey, will also be a favourite for the stage. He has to defend the jersey though as well as rely on limited support as BMC try to protect Porte.

Niki Terpstra is the other to watch for. He has formerly performed well in the cobbled classics, winning Paris-Roubaix.

Sky will also have a big part in the stage as they try to protect Chris Froome, while all the other general classification teams will try to stay at the front.

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Prediction
This is impossible to predict. I’ll go with Sagan for the stage and at least one high-profile general classification rider to lose time on the run into Roubaix.

Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Stage 9 from 9:30pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.