x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Burghardt's day

The German Marcus Burghardt holds his nerve to claim the 18th stage of the Tour de France.

Marcus Burghardt of Germany reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 18th stage.
Marcus Burghardt of Germany reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 18th stage.

SAINT-ETIENNE // Prior to yesterday's 18th stage of the Tour de France, Marcus Burghardt was perhaps best known for riding into a dog on a stage during last year's Tour. But the German found the route clear into Saint Etienne as he outwitted Carlos Barredo in a game of cat and mouse to take the stage victory. The pair broke clear of the peloton just an hour into the day on one of the quickest stages of this year's race.

And they both took their turns trying to break clear in the final kilometres before the Team Columbia rider Burghardt sprung ahead of his rival in the final 500 metres to take a fifth triumph on the Tour for his team. The stage had no bearing on the overall lead and Carlos Sastre remains in the yellow jersey with only three stages of the race remaining. His Team CSC Saxo Bank teammates moved into position at the front of the peloton late in the stage to put Cadel Evans under pressure but Evans stuck to the CSC train to finish in the same time as his Spanish rival.

The only major development on the day was a crash involving former Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego, who had been lying 14th overall at the team. The scarred Italian crossed the line some way behind the leading protagonists. @Email:sports@thenational.ae