Oscar Freire Robbie McEwen Tour 2006 stage 9

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) beat Robbie McEwen (Davitamon), Erik Zabel (Milram) and Tom Boonen in a close sprint in Dax on Tuesday as the overall contneders took it easy before the start on the mountain stages in the Pyrenees.

Yet again no team was able to control the bunch in the final kilometres of the pan-flat 169.5km stage, with the leading four riders all across the road as they crossed the line. McEwen came from behind after being blocked and dived to take the centre of the road but Freire held him off with a well-timed throw of the bike. The two were elbow to elbow as they crossed the line but congratulated each other on their excellent bike handling skills.

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