Sunday plays host to a 193km stage between Aigle in Switzerland and Chatel in France, the ninth stage of the race as the blue riband contest approaches the halfway point.

It has been a thrilling Tour so far as Tadej Pogacar (13/2 to win stage 9) looks to try and win three consecutive titles.

The Slovenian is well on his way to doing so, leading the general classification by 39 seconds after winning stages six and seven of the race (Pogacar 1/3, Jonas Vingegaard 3/1, Geraint Thomas 20/1 – Tour de France Outright).

On Saturday, stage eight took place between Dole to Lausanne in Switzerland for a 186km medium mountain stage.

Belgian Wout van Aert (25/1 to win stage 9) took his second stage victory of the year for the Jumbo-Visam team, finishing ahead of Australia’s Michael Matthews while Pogacar finished in the top three.

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It was an impressive surge by Van Aert who sailed past the leading duo at just the right time to record his eighth Tour de France stage victory, though he is not in the picture in terms of the general classification.

“I’m of course super happy with today’s win,” said the Belgian.

“I want to thank my team for chasing down the breakaway and then you have to finish it off. It was a pretty tough climb at the end. It was really steep – I had to fight to stay in wheel of Pogacar and his team-mates.

“I knew it was a bit flatter for the sprint, so I was waiting for that moment.”

Pogacar’s finish in third was made the more impressive after he was caught up in a crash early in the stage of Saturday, which also held up a number of general classification runners and riders, including Geraint Thomas, David Gaudu, and Romain Bardet.

Stage nine is a varied one with most of the first half being contested over flat ground by Lake Geneva.

However, two category one climbs are to follow in the latter stages.

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