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Tough Tour de France stage sharpens view of race leaders

Nicolas Bouvy / EPA

BMC team rider Cadel Evans of Australia, Europcar team rider Thomas Voeckler of France, Europcar team rider Pierre Rolland of France, Liquigas-Cannondale team rider Ivan Basso of Italy, cycle in the Alps during the 18th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Pinerolo in Italy and Col du Galibier, France, 21 July 2011.

Lionel Bonaventure / AFP - Getty Images

Luxembourg's fans cheer on stage winner Luxembourg's Andy Schleck climbing Galibier pass (2.645 meters) in the 200,5 km and eighteenth stage of the 2011 Tour de France cycling race run between Pinerolo and Galibier Serre-Chevalier ski resort on July 21, 2011. This year is the celebratation of the centenary of the first crossing of the Galibier pass by a cyclist on July 1911 during the Chamonix/Grenoble stage of the Tour.

Laurent Cipriani / AP

Johnny Hoogerland of The Netherlands sprays himself with water as he climbs Izoard pass during the 18th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 200.5 kilometers (124.6 miles) starting in Pinerolo, Italy, and finishing on Galibier pass, Alps region, France, Thursday July 21, 2011.

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler of France reacts at the finish line during the 18th stage of the Tour de France 2011 cycling race from Pinerolo to Le Galibier-Serre Chevalier July 21, 2011. Voeckler, who finished fifth, keeps the leader's jersey.

Stage 18 saw Andy Schleck get within striking distance of the yellow jersey, as prior Tour winner Alberto Contador effectively lost the race. Full story.