What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour de France Stage 18: Lastras’ Lunge

With a lunge to the line, ibanesto.com’s Pablo Lastras snatched victory from break companions Carlos Da Cruz and Danielle Nardello. Status Quo for the GC leaders as they let a break escape and gain over 22 minutes…

Stage 18 of the centenary Tour de France went according to plan for the peloton with a group of 16 riders escaping at kilometer 67 and quickly. built a large gap. With the best placed rider at over 45 minutes behind (Massimiliano Lelli, Cofidis) the leaders of the Tour were content to spend the day resting for tomorrow’s all important time trial, that is after the first bonus sprint. Robbie McEwen easily cleaned up the first place at the 50 km mark, but in another impressive show of defiance it was the big German Jan Ullrich snatching the second place bonus, followed closely by yellow jersey Armstrong. Jan snatched what could potentially be a very important 2 seconds in a race that might see the battle for overall victory going all the way to the Champs Elysees.

The break’s advantage grew to over 22 minutes as the riders sped toward the finishing town of St Maixent L’Ecole. With around 20km remaining, the lead group split over a small climb with David Canada (Quick.Step), Daniele Nardello (Telekom), Pablo Lastras (iBanesto), Carlos Da Cruz (FDJeux.com), Paolo Fornaciari (Saeco), Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis), Andy Flickinger (Ag2R), Thomas Voeckler (Brioches) quickly opening a 30 second gap to the rest of the group. In what appeared to be a paper copy of yesterday’s stage, David Canada attacked solo and looked good to win the stage over the three chasers, Nardello, Da Cruz, and Lastras. However, it wouldn’t be another victory for Lefevre’s Quick.Step team as Canada was swallowed up with less than 200 meters remaining. In the dash to the line it was Vuelta stage winner Pablo Lastras managing to take the sprint over Da Cruz and Nardello. Canada held on for fourth.

In the sprint for 17th place and the points for the green jersey it was the Aussie Robbie McEwen that pulled out an impressive sprint over Zabel and points leader Baden Cooke. Because of the first bonus sprint that narrowed Cookie’s lead to only 1 point, McEwen is now the leader on points with only the final sprint on the Champs Elyesees to determine the final victor.

Results, Stage 18

1 Pablo Lastras (Spa) iBanesto.com 4.03.18
2 Carlos Da Cruz (Fra) FDJeux.com
3 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Team Telekom
4 David Canada (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon 0.04
5 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) Cofidis, Credit Par Telephone 0.19
6 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance
7 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere
8 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Saeco
9 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Bianchi 0.35
10 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio

General Classification

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 79.07.49
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Bianchi 1.07
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 2.45
4 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5.16
5 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5.25
6 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 6.35
7 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 8.08
8 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 11.12
9 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 16.05
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 16.12

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