Luis León Sánchez Wins Stage Nine of the 2011 TDF

Stage 9-208 km
Issoire to Saint-Flour

Sanchez has won today’s stage. Without doubt he celebrates tonight, perhaps with a frothy bottle of Cava, a hearty Spanish steak and deep sleep, eschewing worry of team alarms on the morning of a rest day. Sanchez has won, but in the wake of every triumph, there are strong and noble men left in ditches and tangled in barbed wire. Today The Heroes lament for these men.

On the eve a rest day our Stage Nine sketchbooks are full of charcoal renderings of the following riders no longer participating in this year’s tour –they are best read aloud in a quiet place:

207, Wouter Poels

61, Alexandre Vinokourov

59, David Zabriskie

44, Juan Manuel Garate

39, Frederik Willems

31, Jurgen Van Den Broeck

26, Amets Txurruka

86, Benat Intxausti

72, Christopher Horner

136, Rémi Pauriol

122, Tom Boonen

111, Bradley Wiggins

87, Vasil Kiryienka

28, Ivan Velasco

186, Christopher Kern

71, Janez Brajkovic

37, Jurgen Van De Walle