July 23, 2004
Mercado takes Stage 18
Juan Miguel Mercado of Quick Step launched from a 6-man breakaway with a few kilometers to go, then sprinted by Vincente Garcia-Acosta for the stage win. Garcia-Acosta was second, while Cofidis rider Dmitry Fofonov led in 4 chasers.
Sandy Casar made an attack late in the stage to try to move up in the white jersey, but Illes Balear-Banesto shut it down in support of Vladimir Karpets.
An incredible field sprint today goes to Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd, then green jersey Robbie McEwen.
1) Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick Step)
2) Vincente Garcia-Acosta (Illes Balears-Banesto)
3) Dmitri Fofonov (Cofidis) at :11
4) Sebastian Joly (Credit Agricole) same time
5) Marc Lotz (Rabobank) s.t.
6) Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
7) Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) at 11:29
8) Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) same time
9) Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner) s.t.
10) Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis) s.t.
McEwen hasn't quite locked up the maillot vert, but only Hushovd moved any closer.
1) McEwen 238
2) Hushovd 227
3) Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) 221
4) O'Grady 215
5) Hondo 201
The only points still available are on Sunday at 2 intermediate sprints and the finish line.
Complete results are available over at RoadCycling.com.
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