Froome Defends Yellow Jersey on 9th Stage of Tour

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SAINT-GIRONS, France (AP) - Race favorite Chris Froome defends the yellow jersey in Sunday's ninth stage of the Tour de France as the peloton sets off on another brutal day of climbing in the Pyrenees.

The 28-year-old Froome launched a devastating attack in Saturday's final climb to win stage eight and move nearly two minutes ahead of two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador in the overall standings and four minutes clear of 2010 champion Andy Schleck.

They could be even further behind if Froome decides to attack again during Sunday's 168.5-kilometer (105-mile) trek from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre in southwestern France featuring four brutal category 1 climbs.

However, with a rest day Monday, Froome may choose to preserve his advantage and strike again in Wednesday's time trial on stage 11.