Contador keeps Tour lead as Cavendish pulls out 19th stage

AUBENAS, France — Alberto Contador stayed in command with two days of racing left at the Tour de France while teammate Lance Armstrong remained in third place.

Mark Cavendish of Britain captured today's 19th stage in a sprint finish, his fifth stage victory in this Tour. Cavendish edged Thor Hushovd of Norway and Gerald Ciolek of Germany on the relatively flat, 111-mile ride from Bourgoin-Jallieu to Aubenas. They all finished in 3 hours, 50 minutes, 35 seconds.

Armstrong, the seven-time champion, had the same time. He trimmed four seconds off his deficit to Contador and second-place Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.

Contador leads Schleck overall by 4:11 and Armstrong by 5:21 entering the last big stage — Saturday's 104-mile ride from Montelimar to a punishing finish up the famed Mont Ventoux.

The race ends Sunday in Paris.

Tour de France Results


At Aubenas, France

19th Stage

110.6 miles from Bourgoin-Jallieu to Aubenas

1. Mark Cavendish, Britain, Team Columbia-High Road, 3 hours, 50 minutes, 35 seconds.

2. Thor Hushovd, Norway, Cervelo Test Team, same time.

3. Gerald Ciolek, Germany, Team Milram, same time.

4. Greg Van Avermaet, Belgium, Silence-Lotto, same time.

5. Oscar Freire, Spain, Rabobank, same time.

6. Jerome Pineau, France, Quick Step, same time.

7. Fumiyuki Beppu, Japan, Skil-Shimano, Same time.

8. Nicolas Roche, Ireland, AG2R-La Mondiale, same time.

9. Christophe Le Mevel, France, Francaise des Jeux, same time.

10. Martijn Maaskant, Netherlands, Garmin-Slipstream, same time.

11. Geoffroy Lequatre, France, Agritubel, same time.

12. Lance Armstrong, United States, Astana, same time.

13. Serguei Ivanov, Russia, Team Katusha, 4 seconds behind.

14. Bradley Wiggins, Britain, Garmin-Slipstream, same time.

15. Andy Schleck, Luxembourg, Team Saxo Bank, same time.

Overall Standings

(After 19 stages)

1. Alberto Contador, Spain, Astana, 77:06:18.

2. Andy Schleck, Luxembourg, Team Saxo Bank, 4:11.

3. Lance Armstrong, United States, Astana, 5:21.

4. Bradley Wiggins, Britain, Garmin-Slipstream, 5:36.

5. Andreas Kloeden, Germany, Astana, 5:38.

6. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, Team Saxo Bank, 5:59.

7. Vincenzo Nibali, Italy, Liquigas, 7:15.

8. Christian Vande Velde, United States, Garmin-Slipstream, 10:08.

9. Christophe Le Mevel, France, Francaise des Jeux, 12:37.

10. Mikel Astarloza, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 12:38.

11. Vladimir Karpets, Russia, Team Katusha, 13:36.

12. Roman Kreuziger, Czech Republic, Liquigas, 14:08.

13. Sandy Casar, France, Francaise des Jeux, 14:37.

14. Rinaldo Nocentini, Italy, AG2R-La Mondiale, 15:27.

15. Carlos Sastre, Spain, Cervelo Test Team, 17:23.

16. Stephane Goubert, France, AG2R-La Mondiale, 19:47.

17. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Belgium, Silence-Lotto, 19:49.

18. Alexandre Botcharov, Russia, Team Katusha, 24:26.

19. Brice Feillu, France, Agritubel, 25:58.

19. Christian Knees, Germany, Team Milram, 27:51.

20. George Hincapie, United States, Team Columbia-High Road, 28:20.

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