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Serrano Takes Tour's 18th Stage but Armstrong Still Leads

Italian cyclist Marcos Serrano has won the 18th Stage of the Tour de France, but six-time champion Lance Armstrong of the United States remains the overall leader.

Serrano finished Thursday's 189-kilometer ride in four hours, 37 minutes, 36 seconds. Cédric Vasseur of France was second just ahead of Belgian Axel Merckx. Both Vasseur and Merckx finished 27 seconds behind Serrano.

Armstrong finished in 12th place, 11:18 behind the winner. The American remains the overall leader, 2:46 ahead of Ivan Basso of Italy, who finished alongside Armstrong. Michael Rasmussen of Denmark is third overall, but he lost 37 seconds in the standings and now trails Armstrong by 3:46 seconds.

Friday's 19th stage covers 153.5 kilometers (from Issoire to Le Puy-en-Velay). The hilly course offers several small climbs, with the largest being the 11.4 kilometer ascent of the Col des Pradeux. The Tour ends in Paris on Sunday.

Some information for this report provided by AP.