Sastre Wins 17th and Toughest Tour Stage

July 23, 2008 9:31:28 AM PDT
Carlos Sastre (SAS'-truh) of Spain has won the 17th stage of the Tour de France, the hardest ride this year up three devastating Alpine climbs, to take the overall lead from teammate Frank Schleck. Sastre took the jersey by speeding ahead of the main title contenders Wednesday in the final ascent of the 130.8-mile ride from Embrun to L'Alpe d'Huez (ahlp doo-EHZ').

The stage was the last of three in the Alps. Riders will face a time trial Saturday that's likely to determine the winner.

Cadel Evans (kuh-DEL') of Australia didn't lose significant time. He remains a favorite to win the Tour, barring a crash or other mishap, because he is the best time-trial cyclist among the remaining contenders.