Tom Dumoulin soloed to victory on stage nine of the Tour de France ©Getty Images

Tom Dumoulin earned a solo victory amid a storm on the ninth stage of the Tour de France after the Dutchman broke clear of a large breakaway group as the race headed into Andorra.

The 25-year-old Giant-Alpecin rider, viewed by many as a time trial specialist, was among 20 riders who were allowed to move clear on the second Pyrenean stage of the race, which is part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour.

Poland’s Rafal Majka was also included in the group as he looked to preserve his advantage in the King of the Mountains classification, but France’s Thibaut Pinot was able to earn several points to claim the jersey.

Thomas De Gendt attempted to break clear of his breakaway companions on the climb up the Côte de la Comella but the Belgian was hauled back as he approached the summit, with around 30 kilometres of the 183km stage to race.

As they approached the final climb to the stage finish in Andorre Arcalis, Dumoulin succeeded where De Gendt had failed by moving away and the Dutchman began a solo ascent to the finish.

Dumoulin eventually crossed the finish in a time of 5hrs, 16min and 24sec to claim the victory, with Portugal’s Rui Costa and Majka ending 38 seconds down.

Two-time champion Alberto Contador abandoned after suffering from illness ©Getty Images
Two-time champion Alberto Contador abandoned after suffering from illness ©Getty Images

“This is a dream come true, I'm so tired that I can't even speak,” said Dumoulin, who has now won a stage at all three Grand Tours in the past year.

“It's been an incredible day, I've won the queen stage.

“I've showed that I'm not only a time trial specialist.

“I can do more, I'm so happy.”

The general classification contenders enjoyed a late battle on the final climb of the day, with several attacks taking place within the final five kilometres.

Spain’s Alberto Contador was not among them, having withdrawn earlier in the stage due a virus and the after effects of his stage one crash.

Defending champion and overall leader Chris Froome finished on the same time as his nearest rival Nairo Quintana of Colombia.

The Briton, who was fined for punching a spectator yesterday, remains 16 seconds ahead of his compatriot Adam Yates in the standings.

Ireland’s Dan Martin benefited from Spain’s Joaquim Rodriquez losing time to move up to third, 19 seconds down, while Quintana is a further four back.

The race will resume with a 197km stage from Escaldes-Engordany to Revel on Tuesday (July 12), with the first rest day taking place tomorrow.