Tour de France: Stage 18

Tour de France: Stage 18

Still in first place in the overall standings, Alberto Contador also won today’s 18th stage, a mostly-flat loop all the way around Annecy Lake in the Haute Savoie, starting and ending at the city of Annecy. Contador also won the 15th stage last Sunday, and placed second in yesterday’s 17th stage, making him by far the most likely winner of this year’s Tour.

Second place in today’s stage went to Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, riding for the Saxo Bank team, and third place to the Russian Mikhail Ignatiev, of the Katusha team.

In the overall standings, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck moved up to second place, 4’11” behind Contador, as Contador’s Astana teammate Lance Armstrong, who fell back to fourth place yesterday, inched back to third today, now trailing Contador by 5’25”. And closing in on the leaders, in fourth place at 5’36” behind Contador, is Britain’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins, riding for Garmin Slipstream.

Tomorrow’s 19th stage, coming down from the Alps, will take the race from Bourgoin-Jallieu, not far from Lyon (and known for its top rugby team), to Aubenas, in the southern Ardèche department. And for the Tour’s penultimate stage on Saturday, the riders will tackle the strenuous climb up Mont Ventoux in Provence.


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