On the 18th Stage Andy Schleck did one of the greatest attacks of the last years of the Tour de France and stormed the Col du Galibier.
He attacked on Col d’Izoard, the second last climb of the day, already, which is a rather unusual tactic in modern cycling. Usually the real battle between the riders with chances of winning the tour takes place at the final climb of the day.
Andy’s move was so successful because the other favorites didn’t want to cooperate and thus let him ride in front with a 4 minutes advantage at the bottom of the Galibier.
In the end Andy Schleck was ahead of the second best rider of the day, his brother Frank Schleck, by 2:07. 8 Seconds later Evans arrived at the top of the Galibier followed by Voeckler and Basso.
Contador cracked and lost all chances of winning the tour, so after this stage there were 4 riders left which can win the tour: Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck, Thomas Voeckler and Frank Schleck.
Due to his weakness in the time trial Frank Schleck has probably no real chance of winning the Tour de France anymore, so it was actually a battle between the other 3 ones on Alpe d’Huez and the final time trial for highest place on the podium of the Tour De France 2011.