In a dramatic win Andy Schleck won the Tour de France’s 200.5km 18th stage at the summit of the Col du Galibier on Thursday.
Andy Schleck finished the 18th stage, which features three category HC (hors catégorie or very difficult) climbs, in 6h 7min 56sec, followed by his brother, Frank 2m 7sec later. Australia’s Cadel Evans finished in third place, just 2m 15sec after Andy Schleck.
The Col du Galibier is the world’s sixth highest mountain pass at an elevation of 2,645m (8,677ft) and is the highest elevation of any previous Tour de France stage finishes. This is the second of three stages in the Alps, which are considered to be the point in the race that establishes possible contenders for the overall win.
Leonardo Bertagnolli of Italy withdrew from the race – bringing the total number of racers to withdraw from the race to 30.
Tomorrow’s stage 19 is referred to as the stage everyone is afraid of. Jean-Francois Pescheux, assistant Tour de France race director, says riders will “…tackle the successive climbs of the Col du Télégraphe and the Galibier, and then finish with the climb to Alpe d’Huez, which returns after an absence of three years”.
The leaders in the various standings are as follows: