Vd. Broeck survives gruelling mountain stage

Jurgen Van den Broeck, the 27-year-old rider from the Omega Pharma Lotto team, finished the ninth stage in the Tour de France, a gruelling mountain stage, in 17th position the company of Lance Armstrong. He is now fifth in the overall standings. Andy Schleck has the yellow jersey.

It's a long time ago since Belgium last had a rider who is a candidate for the top five in Paris. Jurgen Van den Broeck from Morkhoven (Antwerp province) is ready to fill the gap. The down-to-earth rider had back luck today, with a flat tire in the final, but no real harm was done (see video).

The ninth stage took the peloton from Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne through the Alps. The stage included the tough climb of the Col de la Madeleine.

Van den Broeck had to take another bicycle when he suffered a puncture in the final rapid descent of the Madeleine to the finish, but returned and finished in a small group 2:50 minutes behind stage winner Sandy Casar of France.

Luxembourg's Andy Schleck took the yellow leader's jersey from Australia's Cadel Evans, who had a bad day and lost several minutes.