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Hushovd still in yellow as Stage 9 of Tour begins

Updated: July 10, 2011, 09:41

David Millar of Britain, left, and Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, talk prior to the start of the 9th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 208 kilometers (129 miles) starting in Issoire and finishing in Saint Flour, central France, Sunday July 10, 2011. (AP PhotoChristophe Ena)

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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