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95th Tour de France - Stage 18 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/24/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 18 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage  18 Live Part 2
Barredo and Burghardt lead with ten minutes over the summit of the Montvieux with 30 km to go... can the duo beat the resting peloton to Saint Etienne?

Stage 18 Bourg d'Oisans - Saint Étienne, 197km
Stage 18 Profile
1616 CEST - 30 km to go, Our two leaders have 4'08" on our chasers and 10'11" on the peloton. 
Five escapees in two groups: Barredo and Burghardt lead setting a strong pace with our second group of three, Astarloza, Le Mevel and Feillu all five are holding onto their gaps with no apparent chase to be mounted by the peloton.

The breakaways are all on the descent: Astarloza, Le Mevel and Feillu over the summit 4:11 down on our lead duo. Barredo is attempting to shed Burghardt, though the Colombia rider responds. I think Barredo is keen to keep the breakaway moving.

20 km to go - Le Mevel is doing the pulling in the chase group, however the main break is a long way up the road and the stage will go to either Barredo or Burghardt up front. Despite Le Mevel is pulling the gap is up to 4.28.

15 km to go - 1km to the final intermediate sprint, Barredo leads Burghardt... Burghardt comes to the front and ups the pace and leads across the line taking  the sprint, Barredo 2nd. 14 km to go.

The chasers are 4.40 down now on Burghardt and Barredo. They will battle for the third place. They are now on the cat 4 climb the Cote de Sorbiers.

10 km to go - I think Barredo will attack here; Burghardt is the better sprinter of the two personally.

1 km to the summit - Attack of Barredo but Burghardt is able to follow. The Colombia rider looked very comfortable. Barredo constantly talking to Burghardt. do they want to buy the stage win? Barredo won a stage in the Paris Nice this year by attacking on the run-in to the finish, as he knew he wasn't the fastest finisher out of the breakaway group that day. I guess that's why he's trying to weaken Burghardt.

Another attack of Barredo but Burghardt still follows. Barredo took the points on the Sorbiers

8 km to go - Burghardt sat up and was doing his jacket up, Barredo looked round and attacked. Unsporting move, personally. Its maybe unsportive but logical. This is going to be a lively final 8 km. Barredo is really nervous you can see that to his attitude. But Burghardt attacks now...Look at the gap he has. Barredo tries to follow him but it will cost some energy... Back together Barredo is struggling, but has bridged the gap. 

Burghardt has already an award, he is announced as the most aggressive rider for the Combativity Trophy.

5 km to go -  the two are still looking to each other. the pace is 15 km/h or so.

1651 CEST - 4km to go, and the discussion goes on... The bunch is 10.10 behind. Astarloza wants to get rid of the two French guys, but no success.

3 km to go - Another attack of Barredo, but Burghardt is back. Barredo eases up. Dumoulin, Dessel and Kreuziger attack out of the bunch. Kreuziger wants to get some time back for the white jersey

1654 CEST - 2km for our leaders. Dessel is the regional de l'etape as he is living alongside the course of today. Andy Schleck tries to bridge up to the Kreuziger group.

Burghardt leads Barredo with 2km to go, the Colombia rider looks nervous. Andy Schleck gets company of Leif Hoste Attack of Barredo but he doesn't continue... Barredo backs off. Behind, Schleck and Hoste have bridged up to Kreuziger, Dumoulin and Dessel.

1655 CEST - 1km to go... 500 meters to go... the two are slowed each trying to get the other to start their sprint; 400 meters...  300 mt... the standoff continues. 200 meters - Barredo goes...  Burghardt starts the sprint he's flying - he gaps Barredo who tries to come around... he does but too late as Burghardt crosses the line, and the winner of the 18th stage is:


Burghardt wins!! Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The fifth stage win for Columbia in the 2008 Tour de France. Barredo of course second.

While Burghardt celebrates. Barredo expresses his displeasure on the result of the sprint... as in... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Aaarrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!! Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

This surpasses his win in the 2007 Ghent Wevelgem as Burghardt's biggest victory. The other victories he has amassed since turning professional were two stages in the Drei Lander Tour (2007) Prior to this, Burghardt's best placing in a Tour stage were two 8th places finishes in 2007 into Canterbury (sprint finish) and Marseille (part of a breakaway). Barredo is very disappointed, he hits his he handlebars so hard he either will break them or his hand.

Feillu, Le Mevel and Mikel Astarloza finish. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1701 CEST - Our chasing trio comes to the finish: Romain Feillu takes third, Christophe Le Mevel fourth and Mikel Astarloza fifth.

A skirmish goes on with the two white jersey leaders:  Kreuziger and Andy Schleck aren't caught either. They battling for the 6th place now. Dumoulin in at 9 seconds for 6th, Dessel 7th, Kreuziger 8th, Hoste 9th and Andy Schleck 10th.

Oscar Freire wins the bunch sprint; the bunch finished 7 minutes down on the stage winner Burghardt.I think that was Quick Step's best chance for a Stage victory in this years' Tour.....what a disappointing race for the team who are clearly missing Boonen.

Carlos Sastre remains in the overall lead another day as we approach the show down on Saturdays time trial.

Results Stage 18 (provisional)
Bourg d'Oisans - Saint Étienne, 197km

1. Burghardt Marcus 42 Team Columbia 4h 30' 21"
2. Barredo Carlos 92 Quick Step 4h 30' 21" - 00' 00"
3. Feillu Romain 124 Agritubel 4h 33' 54" - 03' 33"

4. Le Mevel Christophe 87 Credit Agricole 4h 33' 54" - 03' 33"
5. Astarloza Mikel 22 Euskaltel - Euskadi 4h 33' 56" - 03' 35"
6. Dumoulin Samuel 185 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone  - 06' 39"
7. Dessel Cyril 101 Ag2r-La Mondiale 4h 37' 00" - 06' 39"
8. Kreuziger Roman 65 Liquigas 4h 37' 00" - 06' 39"
9. Hoste Leif 5 Silence - Lotto 4h 37' 00" - 06' 39"
10. Schleck Andy 16 Team Csc Saxo Bank 4h 37' 00" - 06' 39"
11. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank 4h 37' 11" - 06' 50"
12. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram 4h 37' 11" - 06' 50"
13. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole 4h 37' 11" - 06' 50"
14. Duque Leonardo 186 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone - 06' 50"
15. Pozzato Filippo 61 Liquigas 4h 37' 11" - 06' 50

Our top ten of the General Classification remains the same:
General Classification After Stage 18
1. Sastre Carlos 11 Team Csc Saxo Bank 79h 16' 14"
2. Schleck Frank 17 Team Csc Saxo Bank 79h 17' 38" - 01' 24"
3. Kohl Bernhard 115 Gerolsteiner 79h 17' 47" - 01' 33"
4. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto 79h 17' 48" - 01' 34"
5. Menchov Denis 131 Rabobank 79h 18' 53" - 02' 39"
6. Vandevelde Christian 191 Garmin Chipotle 79h 20' 55" - 04' 41"
7. Valverde Alejandro 31 Caisse D’epargne 79h 21' 49" - 05' 35"
8. Sanchez Samuel 27 Euskaltel - Euskadi 79h 22' 06" - 05' 52"
9. Valjavec Tadej 109 Ag2r-La Mondiale 79h 24' 24" - 08' 10"
10. Efimkin Vladimir 104 Ag2r-La Mondiale 79h 24' 38" - 08' 24"

Thanks for joining us for the Stage 18 live report. This concludes our live coverage; thanks to our commentators Bart Hazen and Nick Bull. Join us tomorrow for the penultimate day of the real drama to happen on the Saturday in the 57 km time trial.

Tomorrow's romp of 163 kilometers from Roanne to Montlucon will likely be much like today's action with the long break with the peloton keeping pace. As Nick Bull noted in his preview: "History suggests that the Peloton won’t be bothered at all today; since 2002, the only post-Mountain stages in the final week that have resulted in a bunch sprint have come on a certain street in Paris."

"With Paris now in sight, and a time trial following the day after, this is going to be the last chance for anyone to race away from the Peloton and take the stage honours. Aside from two early climbs that come within the opening 40km, the roads to Montlucon are more rolling than strenuous. It is likely that the breakaway group that decides the race will set its stall out just after the climbs – tactically making the move is the key part of the race."

Stage 19 Profile.

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