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Tour de France car knocks down rider in 9th stage
Spanish rider hit by car at Tour de France; crash also takes out Dutch cyclist in 9th stage
By The Associated Press

SAINT-FLOUR, France (AP) ' Team Sky rider Juan Antonio Flecha was struck by a car late in Sunday's ninth stage of the Tour de France, sending the Spaniard flying into Dutch cyclist Johnny Hoogerland and bringing them both down.

Flecha had cuts to his legs and arms but got back on his bike. Hoogerland also remounted his bike and continued racing.

The Tour car was parallel to Flecha before seemingly misjudging how close it was to the Spaniard and turned into him, knocking him off his saddle to collide with Hoogerland, who flew into a ditch.

Earlier Sunday, a mass crash forced Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov out of the race with a suspected broken leg.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ISSOIRE, France (AP) ' Cyclists set off Sunday in the ninth stage of the Tour de France for a second straight day of climbing in the mountains with Thor Hushovd wearing the leader's yellow jersey.

Hushovd surprised himself by keeping the overall lead after Saturday's eighth stage. The Norwegian sprinter, twice a winner of the Tour's green jersey for best sprinter, leads by 1 second over Cadel Evans of Australia.

Sunday's undulating stage takes the peloton on a 129.2-mile trek from Issoire to Saint-Flour in France's Massif Central and features several category-2 climbs.

Three-time champion Alberto Contador was cheered as he rode toward the start line, marking a change to the jeers he has received earlier in the race.

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