Brice Feillu (Agritubel), brother of 2008 yellow jersey wearer Romaine, took the stage by the reigns and left his day-long nine-rider breakaway companions near the 8 kilometer to go mark. Feillu, riding SRAM RED, adopted a powerful rhythm and opened up a maximum gap that peaked around 30 seconds, taking a first stage win for Agritubel this year and a third stage win for SRAM’s top-end RED componentry.
Today’s stage, at 224 km’s, was the longest in the 2009 Tour this year’s Tour, was a 224km trek from Barcelona to Andorra. It was also the first mountaintop finish, peaking at the finish at 7,350 feet.
Behind Feilleu the serious overall contenders have started to emerge. Ultimately, it was SRAM RED-equipped Alberto Contador (Astana) countering an attack by Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) with less than two kilometers left on the stage, gaining 21 seconds. Contador put himself in second overall ahead of teammates Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer. Both Levi and Lance played the team tactics perfectly; letting other riders do all the work to chase back Contador.
SRAM RED, the world’s lightest, most efficient, and most comfortable road group has won three of the Tour’s seven stages, and has five riders in the top ten overall. SRAM has four SRAM-equipped for team in the 2009 Tour including Agritubel, Astana, Team Saxo Bank, and Milram.