Arc-et-Senans – Besançon (41.5km) Click for route map
The main attraction at Arc-et-Senans is the semi-circular Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks) built during the reign of French King Louis XV to extract salt, then a very valuable commodity, from local salt springs. It looks a fascinating place to explore but is one of those places best viewed from the air, something which the helicopter pilots of the Tour can provide but unavailable to most tourists unless they are can afford a hot air balloon! The finish today was at Besançon about which I have posted on a previous occasion when the Tour finished there in 2009. We have still to visit but after seeing today’s aerial pictures it makes me want to go there even more. Once again here is a place surmounted by yet another amazing citadel by Vauban and set in a loop of the River Doubs with lovely scenery all around.
Today was a time trial stage which saw Wiggins put in an amazing time to win the race, enabling him to continue in the yellow jersey and extend his lead in the General Classification. Froome also time trialled extremely well, moving into third place overall. Tomorrow the racers have a well earned rest day and the race resumes on Wednesday starting in Mâcon and finishing at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
The top five of Stage 9
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY
2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 1’53”
3. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY at 2’07”
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 2’23”
5. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 3’02”
Team placings after Stage 9
1. Team Radioshack
2. Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 10
Yellow – Wiggins
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Kessiakoff
White – Van Garderen
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.