Lastras Wins Stage 18 of Tour

News & Results

07/27/2003| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
This is for you madre! Lastras takes the stage and dedicated his win to his mother who passed away four months ago. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
This is for you madre! Lastras takes the stage and dedicated his win to his mother who passed away four months ago. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Lastras Wins Stage 18 of Tour

Pablo Lastras (iBanesto.com) has won Stage 18 of the Tour de France.

Pablo Lastras (iBanesto.com) has won Stage 18 of the Tour de France. The Spaniard outsprinted Carlos Da Cruz (La Francaise des Jeux.com) and Daniele Nardello (Telekom) to take the flat, 203.5-km run from Bordeaux to St. Maixent l'Ecole in 4:03:18. Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) remains the maillot jaune.

The racing began early. At 28 km, a 34-rider strong group that included Iban Mayo and Haimar Zubeldia (both from Euskaltel) and Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) rolled off of the front. The peloton rode down the escapees quickly.

At the first intermediate sprint (50.5 km), Jan Ullrich (Bianchi) attacked on the left side of the road. Armstrong followed him, but the German took the four-second bonus for finishing second. Armstrong received two seconds for third and saw his overall lead reduced to 1:05. (McEwen took the six seconds for winning the sprint.)

At 61 km, Mikel Pradera (ONCE), Nardello, Lastras, Paolo Fornaciari (Saeco), Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis), Andrea Peron (CSC), Dario Cioni (Fassa Bortolo), Da Cruz, Javier Pascual Llorente (Kelme), Davide Bramati and David Canada (both from Quick Step), Fabrizio Guidi (Bianchi), Christophe Brandt (Lotto), Andy Flickinger (Ag2r), Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangere), and Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio) sallied off of the front. The peloton did not pursue, and the 16 riders built a 20-minute lead.

With 20 km left, Voeckler attacked and split the break in two. Ten km later, Voeckler attacked again. Canada countered and looked like a winner heading into the last km. Da Cruz, however, overtook the Spaniard with 300 m to go. Lastras followed with a sprint of his own and overtook Da Cruz at the finish line. The iBanesto.com rider dedicated his victory to his mother, who died four months ago, and said that she propelled him during the final meters.

In the overall, Armstrong leads Ullrich by 1:05 and Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) by 2:45. Stage 19 will probably be the centennial Tour's deciding stage. The 49-km time trial from Pornic to Nantes will be flat and fairly straight. Armstrong and Ullrich will fight a duel for the yellow jersey. Who will win it? Check in at  Roadcycling.com and find out!

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