Fedrigo claims ninth stage

Fedrigo claims ninth stage

Fedrigo, 30, outsprinted breakaway companion Franco Pellizotti of Italy, who had gone with him and two other riders 12 km into the stage.

Spaniard Oscar Freire beat off the main bunch to snatch third place.

"First there were four of us, then three, then two and then I won. Now it's nothing but happiness," said Fedrigo, who also won a stage in 2006. 

His victory was the second this Tour for Bouygues Telecom following Thomas Voeckler in Perpignan.

Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini will keep his yellow jersey until Tuesday at least after not coming under attack on the two big climbs of the day.

Alberto Contador is still second overall, six seconds behind, and seven-times champion Lance Armstrong third, a further two seconds adrift.

Nocentini's AG2R team mates and those of Astana's Contador and Armstrong controlled the peloton at a reasonable pace throughout the stage.

"I was hoping to keep the jersey until the rest day at Limoges because my wife is coming to see me and I really wanted to greet her in the yellow jersey," Nocentini told reporters.

"Now I hope to keep it as long as possible, if possible until the Alps," he added.

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