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Germany's Burghardt Wins 18th Stage of Tour de France

German Marcus Burghardt won the 18th stage of the 2008 Tour de France on Thursday, July 24 as the outcome of the title race remained undecided.

The peloton

The outcome of the 2008 Tour de France remains undecided

The 25-year-old Burghardt was part of every escape group from the beginning of the 196.5-kilometre course from Le Bourg-d'Oisans to the city of Saint-Etienne, eager to score a stage win.

He finally hooked up with Carlos Barredo at the 65-km mark, and then outsprinted the Spaniard to the finish line. It was Burghardt's first-ever Tour de France victory, and the fifth win for his Team Columbia on this year's Tour.

Frenchman Romain Feillu finished third, 3 minutes 33 seconds behind the winner.

Most of the leaders finished with the main bunch of riders, 6 minutes 50 seconds behind Burghardt.

As a result, Spain's Carlos Sastre retained the lead in the standings, 1 minute 24 seconds ahead of his Team CSC teammate, Frank Schleck of Luxembourg, with Austrian Bernhard Kohl third, 1 minute 33 seconds adrift.

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