Andy Schleck Surges to Victory in Stage 18
Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) has turned the 2011 Tour de France upside down.
gave rise to discussion about cooperation. Evans could persuade no one, not even yellow jersey wearer Voeckler, to chase. At this point, Schleck was the virtual maillot jaune. Finally, with the Schleck group lead growing to more than four minutes, Evans took the responsibility.
With 10 km left, Roche dropped out of the lead group. Behind, Evans accelerated. Contador was in the front for a while, but the defending champion dropped off of the pace and would lose 3:50 to Schleck, ending the Spaniard's hopes of winning the 2011 Tour or standing on the podium.
With eight km left, Schleck dropped Iglinsky. In the yellow jersey group, Evans's efforts made inroads in the Luxembourger's lead. In the final two km, Schleck struggled while the Australian surged. Evans's work enabled Voeckler to keep his yellow jersey, although Frank Schleck sprinted ahead to take 0:08 from Evans.
In the overall, Voeckler leads Andy Schleck by 0:15 and Frank Schleck at 1:08. With Evans only four seconds behind Frank Schleck and with no one else in a position to contend for the 2011 Tour podium, Stage 19 will be pivotal. The 109.5-km ride from Modane to L'Alpe d'Huez will take the riders over the Galibier en route to the famous climb. Will Evans overcome the coordinated assaults of the Schleck brothers to take the yellow jersey? Will one of the Schleck boys take the golden fleece? Will Voeckler keep it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and www.roadcycling.mobi to find out!