Related News

Home » Sports » Cycling

Sanchez wins with late sprint

Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez outsprinted his breakaway companions to win the 176.5-kilometer eighth stage of the Tour de France between Andorra and Saint-Girons yesterday.

The Caisse d'Epargne rider, winner of a Tour stage last year in Aurillac, surged in the last stretch to beat France's Sandy Casar and fellow Spaniard Mikel Astarloza.

The three had been on their own since the last climb of the day, accompanied by Russia's Vladimir Efimkin, who finished fourth, 1:54 behind the trio's time of 4 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds.

Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey earned in the previous stage in the ski resort of Arcalis despite numerous attacks on the two first category climbs of the day. Such skirmishes had been expected from the rivals of the all-conquering Astana team of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, the race favorites.

Australian Cadel Evans, who squandered nearly three minutes in the first week of the race, was the first to try his luck in the 2,400-meter Port d'Envalira, separating Andorra from France.

The 2007 and 2008 Tour runner-up gave up on the descent after holding a lead of 90 seconds at one stage.

At the Col d'Agnes, 45 kilometers from the finish line, Luxembourg's Andy Schleck surged twice in an attempt to shake off the peloton, but Astana was keeping a close watch and easily hauled him back.

When the hostilities ceased between the favorites, the four escapees had taken a solid 2:35 lead which was enough for them to battle it out for stage victory.

In the finale, Efimkin tried to break out on his own but Sanchez, winner of the Paris-Nice this season, was the strongest and he overtook Casar near the line to grab the laurels.

Overall, Nocentini retained his six-second lead over 2007 Tour winner Contador, and seven-time champion Armstrong is eight seconds back. Astana rider Levi Leipheimer is fourth, 39 seconds behind.

The 160.5-km ninth stage from Saint-Gaudens to Tarbes today will start without 2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro. The Spaniard, a teammate of Sanchez, called it quits shortly after the first climb of the day.

Pereiro finished second in 2006 but inherited the title after American Floyd Landis was stripped of his victory in a doping scandal.

Pereiro withdrew near the feed zone in yesterday's stage.

Pascale Schyns, a spokesman for Caisse d'Epargne, said Pereiro dropped out because "accumulated fatigue."

"Since the start of the Tour he didn't have good sensations," Schyns said. "There was no point in continuing, because it wasn't doing any good."

The Tour ends on July 26 in Paris, with the Alps, a final individual time trial, and the dreaded Mont Ventoux awaiting.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend