But the group could not sustain their lead and after two other escapes were thwarted, the unusually short stage finished in a mass sprint, won by Italy's Adriano Baffi. Jan Svorada of the Czech Republic was second and another Italian, Fabio Baldato, third.
It was Baffi's third stage win of the tour after his triumphs in the second and eighth legs.
Indurain, the defending Tour of Italy and Tour de France champion, finished in the pack to take a 49-second advantage over Ugrumov into today's crucial time trial, the third from last stage and the one which should be decisive.
However, there is growing pessimism among the other riders about the chances of matching Indurain over his speciality.
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