- - Contador and Schleck crossed in sixth and seventh place respectively with the 25-year-old climber from Luxembourg, runner-up to the Spaniard last year, holding a 41-second advantage in the overall standings. Samuel SANCHEZ third at 2:45; Denis MENCHOV fourth at 2:58; Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK fifth at 3:31. Updated GC
- - Basso, Armstrong, Van den Broeck, De Weert and Plaza at 2:52. Kreuziger, Vinokourov, Kloden and Monier at 3:50. Sastre, Wiggins and Roche at 4:55 with Evans crossing over eight minutes behind. Full stage result
- - Sanchez crosses at 52 seconds with Voigt Gesink, Menchov, Leipheimer and Rodriguez at 2:07.
16:15 - VICTORY FOR SANDY CASAR!! It turns out to be a seven-man sprint and the home rider from FDJ takes the honours ahead of Sanchez and Cunego.
1km - Under the Flamme Rouge and the lead quartet are going to be caught!
2km - The gap is down to 17 seconds.
3km - Damiano Cunego, Sandy Casar, Luis Leon Sanchez and Anthony Charteau are now just 35 seconds ahead.
4km - Samuel Sanchez is now marooned after pulling within 10 seconds, he has dropped 40 seconds behind Moreau, Contador and Schleck.
6km - Luis Leon Sanchez is sitting at the back of the four-man lead group and they are starting to look at each other. The gap is 52 seconds.
8km - Samuel Sanchez looks cooked and is struggling to bridge the gap as the Basso-Armstrong group follow three minutes behind.
10km - 1:25 is the gap back from the four leaders to Contador and Schleck at the bottom of the descent. That 'should' be enough for our breakaway riders on the flat roads.
12km - Sanchez within 10 seconds of Contador and Schleck. They are likely to be the top three on GC tonight.
14km - If Andy Schleck claims the yellow today, he and Frank will be the first brothers since 2001 to have both worn the yellow jersey.
16km - Schleck and Contador catch Moreau who crossed the Madeleine in fifth and they could be caught by Samuel Sanchez who has reduced the deficit to 20 seconds.
18km - Damien Monier has crashed on the descent.
20km - It is a long steep 19km descent and Contador is putting the pressure on Schleck's downhill ability while Samuel Sanchez (see comment at 95km) throws caution to the wind behind. Van den Broeck, fourth on GC, has punctured on the way down.
25km - Charteau will take the polka dot jersey tonight.
30km - With Evans losing seven minutes on the Madeleine already, Andy Schleck has the yellow jersey in sight. The last yellow jersey holder from Luxembourg was his brother Frank in 2008.
32km - At the summit of the Col de la Madeleine, it is Charteau ahead of Cunego, Luis Leon Sanchez and Casar. Contador and Schleck follow at 2:10. Samuel Sanchez is next at 2:54 with Voigt, Gesink, Menchov, Leipheimer and Rodriguez at 3:20. Basso, Armstrong, Van den Broeck, Plaza and De Weert are next at 4:24.
33km - Our first sight of Sanchez, Gesink, Menchov, Leipheimer and Rodriguez who are AHEAD of the Armstrong group.
34km - Vino has dropped off the back of the Armstrong group which was 1:30 behind Schleck-Contador as Voigt continues to drag the Tour stars up the climb.
35km - LL Sanchez, Cunego and Charteau have seen their advantage cut to three minutes as Schleck and Contador join Voigt. Evans four minutes back.
36km - Contador and Schleck are now working together with 5km to the summit. Basso is driving the chase behind in a eight-man group with Armstrong and Van den Broeck.
37km - Contador gets a bottle from Caisse d'Epargne's Gutierrez.
38km - Another big attack from Schleck and that distances Sanchez. They will go head-to-head for the next six kilometres with Evans having already lost two minutes.
39km - Navarro puts down the hammer and only Contador and Andy Schleck can follow! The race's top two men are caught by Samuel Sanchez as they play cat and mouse. Now that trio are chasing the stage leaders LL Sanchez, Cunego and Charteau.
40km - Spain's Daniel Navarro hits the front of the peloton and EVANS is off the back of a group of around 18 with eight kilometres of the climb left.
41km - Casar, Charteau, Cunego. Moreau and Sanchez are out in front but the lead has dropped under five minutes as SASTRE loses contact with the peloton.
42km - Voigt is the latest of the front group to be distanced as a turn of speed from Chris Anker Sorensen causes carnage in the peloton.
43km - Steve Morabito of BMC on the front of the peloton but the pace has dropped a little with 11km to the summit.
44km - Gutierrez has done what he could for his team leader and has now ground to a halt. Gautier has also lost contact so seven up in front and still 5:30 ahead of the peloton.
45km - The last time the Tour de France passed the Col de la Madeleine in 2005, Alexandre Vinokourov claimed the stage victory in Briancon. He left the pack on the Madeleine, just like today and is a minute ahead of the peloton.
46km - Col de la Madeleine is one of the more famous climbs in Tour history, first being used in 1969.
47km - The leaders are on the 2km false flat but that forces the riders to change into the big ring and ride at 35kmph which is hardly respite. Vino is 35 seconds ahead of the peloton and has passed Taaramae.
48km - Nocentini has dropped off the pace at the front as Gutierrez continues to bust a gut for virtual yellow Sanchez.
49km - Vino is 15th on GC at 3:05.
50km - Vinokourov attacks and opens up a 20 second lead on the peloton.
51km - Michael Rogers, 10th on GC, has been dropped!
52km - Saxo Bank's Nicki Sorensen is setting a fierce pace that has seen the peloton dwindle to no more than 40 riders with another 20km of climbing before the summit.
53km - Fröhlinger and Taaramae have also been jettisoned as Jose Ivan Gutierrez sets a strong pace. Profile picture: A beast of a climb
54km - Pineau is the first man to drop out of the lead group.
55km - Rinaldo Nocentini is in today’s leading group. Last year he wore the yellow jersey for eight days, from stage 7 to stage 14. With the 13th position in the final classification he was the best debutant in the 2009 Tour de France.
60km - A recap of the lead group with the Madeleine on the horizon: Luis Leon Sanchez, Jose Ivan Gutierrez and Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne), Cyril Gautier and Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step), Sandy Casar (FDJ), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Johannes Fröhlinger (Milram), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre). The lead is 6:30.
65km - Of the last five riders that reached the top of the Col de la Madeleine first in the Tour de France, only one eventually won the stage. That rider was Michael Boogerd in 2002, who crossed the finish line first in La Plagne.
70km - Gutierrez takes the points at the intermediate sprint at La Bathe with the gap having gone out just a touch in the valley to its' biggest of the day: 6:20.
75km - L'Equipe ran a headline in English which said: "Wiggins, bye-bye podium", but the Team Sky leader claimed "the race is really up in the air". Wiggins said: "I am actually feeling fine. I always feel I could have done more. It was not a good day, but the key is I am ready to go again." He is 14th on GC at 2:45.
80km - Among the losers on Sunday were seven-times champion Lance Armstrong, who lost 11:45, and Briton Bradley Wiggins, who finished 1:45 adrift of Schleck. Johan Bruyneel told VeloNews that RadioShack now will rally its forces around Levi Leipheimer: "It’s obvious that Lance (Armstrong) will not be able to win the Tour, so now we will look for new options for the team. We will ride to support Levi (Leipheimer) and maybe Lance can recover to try to win a stage."
85km - Schleck, second overall, looked so strong in the last climb to Avoriaz that he probably should have attacked earlier. But he did not. "I have a gameplan for this Tour and I want to stick to it. I was not going to experiment in such a hard stage," he said. Schleck's 41-second advantage is not enough for the Saxo Bank rider to just wait and see today since he is likely to lose a lot of time to Contador in the final time trial, a 52-km effort from Bordeaux to Pauillac.
90km - Spain's Daniel Navarro pulled Alberto Contador along the first 11 kilometres of the Avoriaz climb but Contador made a small mistake in chasing every attack in the final part of the ascent and when Andy Schleck jumped from the leading pack, he had run out of breath and lost 10 seconds to his rival who won the stage. "He just has to choose better who he has to chase," Astana team manager Yvon Sanquer said.
95km - The elite group of 13 who climbed up to Morzine together on Sunday would be expected to be at the head of proceedings on the Madeleine. A long steep descent follows before a 13km drag to the finish and of that baker's dozen, there is no doubt that Samuel Sanchez is the best descender. Stage 8 result
100km - So that is the first half of today's stage done with. We now have 50km respite of descent and valley before the Madeleine so time to consider what to expect in the business end of the stage. Who do you think will win? Leave your comments below.
105km - At the top of the Col des Saisies, it is Pineau and another 15 points to take his advantage to a whopping 49. Moreau and Charteau follow as they did in the previous climb with the peloton at 4:40.
110km - Evans started this stage with his sixth yellow jersey as he also wore the leader outfit five days in the 2008 edition (stage 10-14) and his team have reduced the deficit by a minute. The escape group would have wanted a lead of 10 minutes plus at the foot of the Madeleine but that looks highly unlikely now.
115km - BMC are riding tempo at the front for Cadel Evans. The Australian world champion seized the Tour lead in Sunday's eighth stage to Morzine and his BMC team director John Lelangue said excellent teamwork had paid off. "The classics specialists helped Cadel back in the peloton after he crashed and then Mauro Santambrogio and Steve Morabito helped him in the mountains," he said. Evans counts on team
120km - At the foot of the Col des Saisies, Luis Leon Sanchez is in virtual yellow with the lead 5:30.
125km - British Eurosport's Rob Hayles takes a look at the kind of bike the cyclists use during a mountain stage. Video: The right bike for a mountain stage
130km - Moreau was ordered not to contest KOM points so it is Pineau at the top of the Aravis for another 10 points ahead of the veteran and Charteau. His lead over Chavanel is now 34 points after picking up 26 so far today. The peloton is now five minutes back.
135km - Moreau is doing the most work on the front as the leaders eke out another 30 seconds. He is 39 years and 92 days old, if he wins this stage he will become the second oldest stage winner in TdF history behind Belgium's Pino Cerami who was 41 years and 95 days old, when he won a stage in 1963. He is the oldest rider in this year's peloton.
140km - Cunego, Taaramae and Frohlinger have bridged the gap to the leaders to make it a 12-man front group as they begin to climb the Aravis with a lead of four minutes.
145km - It's muggy and hot in the Alps today. The temperature in the valley is 31° C while it will be 20° C at the top of the Madeleine. Weather Forecast
150km - Or you can follow the live text in conjunction with audio commentary from David Harmon and Sean Kelly Live Audio
155km - Remember you can watch the race now LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and on the Eurosport Player
157km - At the top of the Colombière, it is Moreau who outsprints Pineau who gains another 13 points in his quest for the polka dot jersey. The lead nine have a 42 second advantage over Cunego and Rein Taaramae, the only two riders of the many who tried who were allowed to escape from the peloton on that long climb. Things have settled in the peloton and they cross 3:30 behind.
160km - The escape group is down to nine as Frohlinger also loses contact but has some pedigree and Sánchez is best classified in the GC, 5:03 from the leader. The Spaniard won Tour stages in 2008 and 2009 and is the only rider in this peloton that can still join Hushovd, Fabian Cancellara and Mark Cavendish as riders with Tour stage wins in 2008, 2009 and 2010. General Classification
163km - Hushovd has crashed and lost time on his fellow breakaway riders.
165km - The BMC team have reeled in the Vino counter-attack after they were joined by Janez Brajkovic. Now Damiano Cunego, Sergio Paulinho and Kevin Seeldrayers are looking to make it across to the leading 11 whose gap has been reduced to 2:10 as a result of all the action in the main group.
167km - A counter-attack from Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and he is followed by Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Chris Horner (RadioShack). Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal, who is sixth on GC, has been dropped already.
170km - The leaders hit the foot of the Col de la Colombière with a lead of three minutes. 64km of climbing still in store, we have the category one Col de la Colombière - a 16.5km climb with an average gradient of 6.7% that summits at 46km, then the cat-2 Col des Aravis (7.6 km of 5.9% at 71km), the cat-1 Col des Saisies (14.4 km of 5.1% at 97km) and finally the hors cat Col de la Madeleine (25.5 km of 6.2% at 172.5km).
175km - No surprise as Hushovd takes the intermediate sprint points at Cluses ahead of Frohlinger and Voigt. He gives his fellow escapees the thumbs-up as he extends his lead over Alessandro Petaccchi in the green jersey competition. Green jersey competition
180km - The Austrian rider Markus Eibegger has abandoned to reduce the field to 180. Footon is the first team to be down to six men in this Tour.
185km - At the summit of the fourth category Côte de Châtillon, a 2.1km ascent with an average gradient of 3.9%, it was Pineau in the polka dot jersey ahead of Voigt and Charteau. Pineau extends his KOM lead over Sylvain Chavanel to 11 points. KOM standings
190km - An 11-man lead group has opened up a lead of one minute. The riders are: Thor Hushovd (Cervelo), Jerome Pineau (Quick Step), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Johannes Frohlinger (Team Milram), Anthony Charteau and Cyril Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Sandy Casar (FDJ) and the Caisse d'Epargne trio of Christophe Moreau, Luis Leon Sanchez and Jose Ivan Gutierrez.
195km - Thor Hushovd was voted the best descender in the peloton and with the early terrain all going downhill, the Norwegian in the green jersey is attempting to go off the front.
200km - An incredibly active start with Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) going off right from the gun. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) and Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) tried to join the attack but every team is trying to get someone involved and it has been foiled.
205km - We are underway and the peloton is down to 181 riders. Simon Gerrans of Team Sky, Katusha’s team leader Vladimir Karpets and Footon-Servetto’s Fabio Felline all pulled out on the rest day and have been joined by Team Milram's Roger Kluge. Start List
11:30 - Rested after a day off, the Tour de France riders get back to serious climbing in the 209km ninth stage to St Jean de Maurienne. With four classic Tour climbs, the Col des Saisies, Les Aravis, La Colombiere and the unclassified 25km-long Col de la Madeleine, climbers will have ample chance to express themselves. The final section of La Madeleine is steep and demanding and the 20km descent to the finish could help chasers to rein in breakaways. The peloton is in the 1.9km neutral zone.