Sastre new TDF champion?

2008-07-26 18:06

Saint-Amand-Montrond, France - Spanish rider Carlos Sastre all but won the Tour de France here on Saturday as he retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after the 53km time trial from Cerily to here.

The 33-year-old Spaniard was never going to win the stage but his prime aim was to limit the damage to his overall lead from Australian Cadel Evans, and lost just 29 seconds to give him a lead of 1min 5secs going into the final stage over the Aussie.

The Australian, who wore the yellow jersey earlier in the race, looks set to have to fill the runners-up role as he did last year behind another Spaniard, Alberto Contador.

Sastre - who barring a major mishap will become Spain's third successive Tour de France champion after Contador last year and Oscar Pereiro in 2006 - finished 12th fastest, while Evans could only come in seventh.

The big loser overall was Luxembourg's former yellow jersey wearer Frank Schleck, who was even caught by Sastre despite the three-minute difference in starting time.

As a result of his poor performance Schleck dropped from second to sixth overall.

The 20th stage was won by former yellow jersey wearer Stefan Schumacher, the 27-year-old German had won the previous time-trial to don the yellow jersey.

Schumacher beat world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara by 21sec of Switzerland.

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