Tour de France: French cyclist Fedrigo wins ninth stage

PARIS: Pierrick Fedrigo was first to reach finish line to take the glory on yesterday''s ninth stage of the Tour de France.

The Frenchman just pipped Italian Franco Pellizotti after the pair broke away from the pack on the 160km route between Saint-Gaudens and Tarbes.

It was Fedrigo''s second stage win for his Bouygues Telecom team after he and Pellizotti (Liquigas) were clocked at 4 hours, 5 minutes, 31 seconds - 34 seconds ahead of the peleton led by Spaniard Oscar Freire of Rabobank.

Italian Rinaldo Nocentini was 24th but retained the yellow jersey by six seconds from Alberto Contador of Spain and eight from American Lance Armstrong.

There was also no change in the race for the green jersey with Thor Hushovd still leading from Britain''s Mark Cavendish going into today''s rest day.

But there was a change in the mountain standings with Spaniard Egoi Martinez taking over the polkadot jersey from Christophe Kern of France.

Armstrong reckons the overall standings will not alter significantly until the race reaches the Alps next weekend.

The seven-time champion, who is riding for the Astana team, said: "There''s not going to be a lot of change until the 15th stage between Pontarlier and Verbier. We''ll have more moments there when we''ll see who''s truly the strongest."

And Armstrong revealed he will probably be back for one more Tour de France. Asked if this will be his last race, he said: "Probably not. Maybe one more Tour."

Racing resumes tomorrow over the 194km 10th stage from Limoges to Issoudun.