Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin battled torrential rain, gusty winds and icy hailstones in the mountains of Andorra to collect the first Tour de France stage victory of his career on Sunday, 10 July. The Team Giant-Alpecin rider continued his individual Grand Tour success following stage wins at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana and May's Giro d'Italia by triumphing on a truly gruelling 184.5km five-climb slog from Vielha Val d'Aran in Catalonia.
Rui Costa finished 38 seconds behind the leader but produced an impressive sprint finish to narrowly pip Rafal Majka and cross the line in second. Chris Froome still holds the yellow jersey and general classification lead by 16 seconds over Adam Yates after finishing in exactly the same time as his fellow Briton. Etixx-Quick-Step's Dan Martin is up to third and Nairo Quintana sits fourth after finishing alongside Froome and Yates some six-and-a-half minutes off the winning pace.
"Yes, it's a dream,"Dumoulin, the first Dutch stage winner at the Tour since Lars Boom in 2014, told ITV4 after his memorable success in perilous conditions. "It came true and I cannot even speak right now. I'm so tired but it was an incredible day… I did it."
Addressing his impressive Grand Tour form, he added: "It's very, very special. I'm of course a time trial specialist but today I showed that I can do more. I showed that already in the Vuelta last year and I'm so, so happy. It is just incredible."
Earlier in the afternoon, Tinkoff confirmed that Alberto Contador had abandoned stage nine and withdrawn from the Tour due to a fever. The two-time winner began the race by suffering crashes on consecutive days, the first of which caused a sizeable gash on his shoulder and bruising all down the right side, that saw his chances of victory all but disappear. He called it quits with just over 100km left to go, having initially led an early breakaway before falling back and holding discussions with his team car.
Michael Morkov, Mathieu Ladagnous, Cedric Pineau and Mark Renshaw, lead-out man for triple-stage winner and green jersey holder Mark Cavendish, are the other riders to have officially pulled out through illness and injury. All 198 starters had previously made it through to stage eight in an unprecedented show of health.
Le Tour will bid farewell to the Pyrenees after Sunday's energy-sapping grind. Tomorrow marks the first rest day before proceedings resume with a 197km ride from the Andorran parish of Escaldes-Engordany to Revel in Haute-Garonne, south-west France.