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(AP) SAINT-FLOUR, France - Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on a wild day of crashes, while France's Thomas Voeckler finished second to take the leader's yellow jersey from Thor Hushovd of Norway.

The biggest crash, involving about 30 riders, left Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov with a broken right thighbone. Vinokourov, third in 2003 and fifth in 2005, had surgery soon after.

"It could have been much worse," he said.

The weirdest crash saw a French media car swerve and hit Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha. It sent Flecha into the Netherlands' Johnny Hoogerland, who went flying and scraped a barbed-wire fence. Both riders were able to finish.

Stage 9 Results
1. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team - 5:27:09
2. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar - 0:00:05
3. Sandy Casar FDJ - 0:00:13
4. Philippe Gilbert Omega Pharma-Lotto - 0:03:59
5. Peter Velits HTC-Highroad
6. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team
7. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek
8. Tony Martin HTC-Highroad
9. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek
10. Damiano Cunego Lampre - ISD

General classification after Stage 9
1. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar - 38:35:11
2. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:01:49
3. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team - 0:02:26
4. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:02:29
5. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:02:37
6. Tony Martin HTC-Highroad - 0:02:38
7. Peter Velits HTC-Highroad
8. Andreas Klöden Team RadioShack - 0:02:43
9. Philippe Gilbert Omega Pharma-Lotto - 0:02:55
10. Jakob Fuglsang Leopard Trek - 0:03:08

Full results here..


Jersey Standings:
Thomas Voeckler
Phillippe Gilbert
Johnny Hoogerland
Robert Gesink

Links to news sites...

"Voeckler takes yellow as Sanchez wins Tour crash-fest
By Justin Davis (AFP)

SAINT-FLOUR, France - Frenchman Thomas Voeckler pulled on the Tour de France yellow jersey after a dramatic ninth stage won by Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez and marred by nearly a dozen crashes Sunday.

Voeckler, of Europcar, had been part of an early breakaway that made it to the finish line of the 208km ride from Issoire unchallenged after a mass pile-up in the peloton caused mayhem and delayed the chase.

Two of Voeckler's breakaway companions, Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha, were then taken out of the equation for the win after they were hit by a television car 35km from home.

It left Rabobank rider Sanchez, Voeckler and his compatriot Sandy Casar contending the win, with Sanchez launching an unassailable sprint 250 metres from the uphill finish to leave Voeckler in second." Read more from AFP...

"Team Sky ponder legal action after Flecha Tour accident

(CNN) -- Team Sky are considering taking legal action following the accident which saw their rider Juan Antonio Flecha hit by a car during Sunday's ninth stage of the Tour de France.

Spaniard Flecha was part of a five-man breakaway group when he was struck by a French TV vehicle overtaking them.

Flecha fell to the road while fellow-escapee Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil was catapulted into a barbed wire fence on the side of the road." Read more from CNN International...

Photos by CorVos