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Menchov Wins 11th Stage of Tour de France


Russian cyclist Denis Menchov has won the 11th stage of the Tour de France, but American Floyd Landis has taken the overall leader's yellow jersey from Frenchman Cyril Dessel.

Menchov, last year's Tour of Spain winner, won the mountainous, 206.5-kilometer ride in a sprint finish. Americans Levi Leipheimer and Floyd Landis finished with the identical time 6:06:25.

Landis's finish propelled him into the overall lead, eight seconds ahead of Dessel. Menchov is third overall, one minute, one second behind the leader.

Friday's 12th stage comes out of the Pyrenees and covers 211.5 kilometers and ends in the medieval city of Carcassonne. The tour ends in Paris July 23.

This is the first time in his career that Landis will wear the leader's jersey in the Tour de France. He is the top rider of the team sponsored by Phonak, the Swiss manufacturer of hearing aids. Already this year, the 30-year-old Landis has won three major week-long stage races - the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia.

He first rode in the Tour de France in 2002 for the U.S. Postal Service Team, where he worked for Lance Armstrong. He stayed with that team, helping Armstrong, for two more years. This is his second year as the leading rider with Phonak.

Landis suffers from a hip ailment called osteonencrosis and plans to undergo a hip replacement following the Tour de France.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
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