<br><br>The day of rest and travel over, stage 9 began today in the foot hills of the pyrenees. 173 riders started out today in nice weather. 68 F and no rain forecast. Todays stage is short, only 160 Km with two categorized climbs and gently rolling terrain for the rest. The two man attack of Filippo Simeoni and Inigo Landaluze managed to escape the peloton 125Km from the finish. They built up a 10 minute lead, and finally with 50 km to go the peloton decided to run them down. It really turned into an amazing last 50K. Two men out front by themselves, trying to hold off the 170 man freight train bearing down on them. Inside of 1Km they still had a lead of 15 seconds, and as they came around the last turn the peloton was on them. But Filippo Simeoni came up out of his saddle and gave one final Herculean effort, but sadly he was run down by the sprinters only 50 meters from the finish.<br>Robbie McEwen won the stage.<br><br>overall standings<br><br>1. Thomas Voeckler (BLB) 1,609.6km in 36h36'31" (43.967km/h)<br>2. Stuart O'Grady (COF) at 2'53"<br>3. Sandy Casar (FDJ) at 4'06"<br>4. Magnus Backstedt (ALB) at 6'27"<br>5. Jakob Piil (CSC) at 7'09"<br>6. Lance Armstrong (USP) 9'35"<br>7. George Hincapie (USP) 9'45"<br>8. Jose Azevedo (USP) 9'57"<br>9. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (PHO) 10'02"<br>10. Erik Zabel (TMO) 10'06"<br><br>Tomorrow should be interesting with the first really hard Cat1 climb, and eight other Cat 2,3,&4 climbs along the stage.<br><br><br>Salus populi suprema lex
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Salus populi suprema lex