Tour de France Leaders Hang Back for a Day

Friday, July 25, 2008

Carlos Sastre of Spain retained the overall lead, and Marcus Burghardt of Germany won the 18th stage of the Tour de France as the race left the Alps yesterday.

Sastre leads CSC teammate Frank Schleck of Luxembourg by 1 minute 24 seconds. Bernhard Kohl of Austria is third, 1:33 behind, and Cadel Evans of Australia is fourth, 1:34 back.

Burghardt and Carlos Barredo of Spain finished with more than a six-minute lead on the main pack, including the top title contenders, after the 122-mile ride from Bourg-d'Oisans to Saint-Etienne.

The German raised his fists in the air and clapped as he crossed the finish line, while Barredo banged his handlebars in frustration. They finished in 4:30:21 through low mountains.

The title contenders were content to let the breakaway riders go. The three-week race ends Sunday in Paris.

The 103-mile stage today takes riders through the plains from Roanne to Montlucon. The final positions are expected to be solidified after the time trial tomorrow from Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

· TENNIS: Sixth-seeded Andy Roddick was upset by 44th-ranked Marin Cilic, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

"His aggressiveness is what won him that match today," Roddick said.

Also yesterday, defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Robin Soderling.

Gilles Simon, who upset the top-ranked Roger Federer on Wednesday, advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jose Acasuso.

· SOCCER: Major League Soccer intends to add two expansion teams in time for the 2011 season, boosting membership to 18.

The announcement was made following a meeting of the MLS board of governors, and hours before the MLS all-stars faced English Premier League team West Ham United in Toronto. . . .

Real Salt Lake has acquired midfielder-defender Robbie Russell in a transfer with Danish club Viborg FF.

· BASKETBALL: Restricted free agent Monta Ellis signed a six-year contract worth more than $66 million with the Golden State Warriors, according to his Washington-based agent, Jeff Fried. Ellis, a second-round pick in the 2005 NBA draft, averaged 20.2 points last season and goes from earning $770,000 to about $11 million in the first season of the deal. . . .

Kelenna Azubuike will return to the Warriors after the club matched the Los Angeles Clippers' three-year, $9 million contract offer for the shooting guard. . . .

The Denver Nuggets signed Chris Andersen, bringing the forward-center back to Denver after three seasons with New Orleans.

· COURTS: Virginia sophomore quarterback Peter Lalich faces a misdemeanor alcohol charge.

Alcoholic Beverage Control agents cited the 20-year-old Lalich for unlawful purchase and possession of alcohol on July 13.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

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