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Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Racewatch: Stage 18
Stage 18: Bordeaux - Saint-Maixent-l'Ecole - 203.5km.


All the Tour de France action as it happened (All times BST).

  • Spaniard Pablo Lastras takes the stage with a sprint finish, with leaders Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich comfortable in the peloton over 20 minutes back.

  • Ullrich finished second in the first bonus sprint to grab a four second bonus, but Armstrong retaliated and took third - and two seconds - to lead by 1'05 overall.

  • Robbie McEwen won the sprint to tie the lead in the green jersey with fellow Australian Baden Cooke on 169 points.


    1512: Spaniard Pablo Lastras of Ibanesto edges Carlos da Cruz and Daniele Nardello in a dramatic sprint to the line, after Canada is caught in the closing 100m.

    1505: After several attempted breaks, Canada attacks with some success and quickly makes a gap of 200m.

    1500: Eight riders - Lelli, Flickinger, Canada, Voeckler, Lastras, Nardello, Fornaciari and Da Cruz - make a break with less than 20km to go.

    1440: The stage looks certain to go to one of the leading group as the gap widens to over 22 minutes.

    1425: Andy Flickinger wins the second intermediate sprint at 164.5km, ahead of Davide Bramati and Thomas Voeckler.

    1405: The pace remains high despite windy conditions, but the leaders are increasing their lead - now at 19 minutes after 150km.

    1350: With the leaders passing the 120km mark the second intermediate sprint is looming 40km up the road - the peloton trails by 17 minutes.

    1335: The peloton has slipped over 15 minutes behind the leaders.

    1315: Eleven minutes now separate the leading group and the peloton and the action looks set to take place behind the leaders.

    1257: The leaders have stretched the gap to the peloton to over seven minutes.

    1245: The peloton now trails the leading group by over four minutes - the leaders are: Pascual Llorente, Pradera, Canada, Guidi, Nardello, Lastras, Miholjevic, Fornaciari, Lelli, Peron, Cioni, Da Cruz, Bramati, Brandt, Flickinger and Voeckler.

    1230:The leading group of 16 has over one minute on the peloton, which is now being led by the US Postal team.

    1220: With the field past the 60km mark a group of around 20 riders, not including Armstrong or Ullrich, makes a break and heads the peloton by 20 seconds.

    1210: Robbie McEwen wins the first intermediate sprint at 50.5km to go level with compatriot Baden Cooke in the green jersey battle. Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong follow McEwen over the line.

    1155: The breakaway is quickly caught and after 50km the field is together in the peloton.

    1140: Flickinger, Van Bon, McGee, Bettini and Dumoulin lead the peloton by 15 seconds.

    1130: David Millar, Iban Mayo and Alvaro Gonzalez Galdeano are among a large group that makes the first break of the day.

    1120: The peloton is heading for the start, with race leader Lance Armstrong unlikely to face a serious challenge from Jan Ullrich for the yellow jersey ahead of Saturday's time-trial.

    1100: There are no climbs on stage 18 and the action could well centre on the fight for the green jersey, currently held by Australian Baden Cooke, with a sprint finish expected.



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    VOTE RESULTS
    As the flat stages resume, who is your tip for green jersey glory?
    Baden Cooke
     19.27% 
    Thor Hushovd
     2.75% 
    Robbie McEwen
     40.63% 
    Stuart O'Grady
     8.25% 
    Erik Zabel
     29.10% 
    8028 Votes Cast
    Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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