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Tour de France: Sandy Casar wins stage 18

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sandy Casar in the 2007 Tour de Romandie.
Image: Ludo.

Sandy Casar of France has won stage 18 of the 2007 Tour de France in a time of 5h 13' 31". Axel Merckx came in second.

Sandy Casar, Alex Merckx, Laurent Lefevre, and Michael Boogerd took control of the stage with a break-away that gave them a 10-minute lead on the peleton.

Alberto Contador of Spain, who finished with the peleton keeps the yellow jersey. This 211 km long stage, with a few small climbs near the start, was considered by many as the last chance for any surprises.

Cadel Evans of Australia, who is second overall, shaved off 3 seconds of the advantage that Contador holds over him, by finishing in a smaller group that finished just ahead of the peleton.

"I hope I don't lose because of three seconds," said Contador. "This yellow jersey is very important. It's important that I have it tonight. I'm not a time-trial specialist but I'll do all I can not to lose one minute, 50 seconds."

Tomorrow's stage is the second time trial stage, with long straight stretches, some beautiful sections of unbending road, some slight inclines and again favours the soloists. It is 55.5 km long and runs from Cognac to Angoulême. Sunday, will be the grand finale, as the race enters Paris to complete the eight laps of the traditional circuit around the Champs-Élysées.

Meanwhile, former yellow jersey leader, Michael Rasmussen, insists that he did not lie about his whereabouts. "I feel I've won the Tour de France... but victory has been stolen from me." He also said that he will not retire, but continue his career.

Stage 18 result

General classification after stage 18