Mark Cavendish wins flat 18th stage of Tour de France into Bordeaux in a sprint

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cavendish wins Tour’s 18th stage in sprint

BORDEAUX, France — Mark Cavendish of Britain has won the 18th stage of the Tour de France while defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain has kept the overall lead.

Contador maintained his eight-second lead over Andy Schleck of Luxembourg in Friday’s 123-mile ride from Salies-de-Bearn to Bordeaux.

The gap is expected to widen in the crucial time trial Saturday. The race ends Sunday in Paris.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

SALIES-DE-BEARN, France (AP) — The riders of the Tour de France have set out on the 18th of the 20 stages of this year’s Tour de France, a day that could be decisive for those fighting for the green jersey of best sprinter.

The flat 123-mile trek from Salies-de-Bearn to Bordeaux in the country’s southwest is expected to end in a sprint finish on Friday.

No change is expected to the overall standings. Defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain holds an eight-second lead over Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, a gap that is expected to widen during the time-trial stage on Saturday.

The race ends in Paris on Sunday.

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