Martin wins stage, Nibali loses lead


World time trial champion Tony Martin won the 170km ninth stage of the Tour de France from Gerardmer to Mulhouse on Sunday as Frenchman Tony Gallopin took the race leader's yellow jersey.

On the day Germany play Argentina in the World Cup final, German rider Martin broke away from escape companion Alessandro De Marchi around 60km from home to take a stunning solo victory.

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Germany's Tony Martin crosses the finish line to win the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 170 kilometers (105.6 miles) with start in Gerardmer and finish in Mulhouse, France, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

It was the fifth victory by Germans in the nine stages so far.

A group of 20 chasers, including Gallopin, came home 2min 45sec later with the peloton a further five minutes further back.

One-day Classics specialists Fabian Cancellara and Greg Van Avermaet took second and third respectively on the stage.

Gallopin had started the day 11th overall, 3:27 behind previous race leader Vincenzo Nibali, who drops to second, but now leads by 1:34.

Portugal's Tiago Machado moved up from 20th to third overall at 1:40 after finishing in Gallopin's group.

Other members of the chase group to make significant general classification strides included Frenchman Pierre Rolland, who jumped 15 places to eighth at 4:07.

Australian Richie Porte dropped from third to fifth at 3:32 while two-time former winner Alberto Contador is down three places to ninth at 4:08. – AFP

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