Ricco takes ninth stage of Tour de France
Riccardo Ricco claimed his second stage win of this year's Tour de France Sunday as the Italian took the 224-kilometre-long ninth stage from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre, dpa reported.
The 24-year-old Ricco also won last Thursday's sixth stage, the first with mountains to cross, and was once again strong when the climbing was at its toughest, taking to the front with 27km remaining.
Vladimir Efimkin of the AG2R team finished in second place, 1 minute 4 seconds behind the winner, who registered a time of 5 hours 39 minutes 28 seconds.
Race leader Kim Kirchen came home with the peloton at 1:20 minutes behind Ricco to retain his grip on the leader's yellow jersey.
The stage included two first category climbs and saw an early breakaway from Aleksandr Kuschynski, Sebastian Lang and Nicolas Jalabert.
Gerolsteiner's Lang stayed clear longest but once Ricco broke clear of the peloton on the Col d'Aspin, the second of the major climbs, with 30km remaining, it was only a matter of time before he was caught.
Lang crossed the summit in second behind the Italian meaning David De La Fuente holds on to the mountain points polka dot jersey, four points clear of the German.
The Tour de France ends July 27 in Paris.