SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) 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 on Thursday.
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 6-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.