Andy Schleck's attack on the Col d'Izoard with more than 60 km to go in Stage 18, has primed the Leopard-Trek rider for victory in the 2011 Tour de France.
Schleck could increase his chances on the final climb to the Alpe d' Huez, if he can drop yellow jersey holder Thomas Voeckler who is only 15 seconds ahead of Schleck, and if he can put more time between himself and Cadel Evans who is 57 seconds behind Schleck.
Evans, the BMC rider whose Tour chances were looking great before Stage 18, is a superior individual time trialist to Andy Schleck and could take more than a minute out of Schleck on the Stage 20 time trial.
However, an inspired Schleck only lost 31 seconds to Alberto Contador in last year's final time trial, a tremendous feat since Contador is known for his great time trialing ability like Evans.
If Schleck could reproduce that inspired effort this year against Evans, limiting his losses, the current 57 second advantage could be enough on its own to take tour victory.
In fact, Schleck's position would be much more comfortable if he had not lost 1:09 to Evans on stage 16, when Evans kept pace with an attacking Contador, but Schleck could not.
In tomorrow stage 19 to the Alpe d' Huez, Schleck will have the advantage of having a well rested teammate and brother in Frank Schleck who is currently right behind Andy in 3rd place in the GC.
Frank Schleck was able to keep to Evan's wheel on the climb up Galibier in Stage 18, and showed he had conserved a lot of energy when he attacked Evans in the final 100 meters of the stage to take second place.
Andy Schleck's attack 60 km from the finish was reminder of how cycling use to be, when riders didn't use modern tactics to win be seconds, but just went all out and gave everything.
Schleck certainly gave cycling fans everything and more on Stage 18 and it was a historic ride that may go down in the history books if Schleck goes on to win the 2011 Tour de France.