Tour de France
Friday’s highlights and a look ahead to today’s stage:* Stage 18: Friday’s stage took riders on a flat 131-mile course from Cahors to Angouleme, before an individual time trial today and Sunday’s ride to the finish in Paris.
* Winner: French rider Sandy Casar won his first Tour stage -- despite hitting a dog on the way.
* Yellow jersey: Spanish rider Alberto Contador of the Discovery Channel team kept the overall lead two days after the Rabobank team sent home former race leader Michael Rasmussen for lying about where he was while training last month. Contador leads Cadel Evans of Australia by 1 minute 50 seconds.
* Quote of the day: “In this time trial, everything can change, my entire life can change.” -- Contador.
* Next stage: Today’s time trial could decide the outcome of the tour. Evans and Contador face off over 34.5 miles of flat roads from Cognac to Angouleme.
STAGE 18 RESULTS
1. Sandy Casar, France: 5:13:31
2. Axel Merckx, Belgium: :01 behind
3. Laurent Lefevre, France: same time
4. Michael Boogerd, Netherlands: same time
5. Tom Boonen, Belgium: 8:34 behind
1. Alberto Contador, Spain: 86:04:16
2. Cadel Evans, Australia: 1:50 behind
3. Levi Leipheimer, U.S.: 2:49 behind
4. Carlos Sastre, Spain: 6:02 behind
5. Haimar Zubeldia, Spain: 6:29 behind