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American Cyclist Landis Wins Tour de France


An American has won cycling's most prestigious event - the Tour de France - for the eighth straight year. Floyd Landis of the United States cruised to victory on the Champs-Elysees Sunday in Paris.

The 30-year-old Landis regained the overall race leader's yellow jersey Saturday in the final time trial, when he built an insurmountable lead of 59 seconds.

Landis finished Sunday's 20th and final 154.5 kilometer stage (from Sceaux-Antony to Paris) eight seconds behind stage winner Thor Hushovd of Norway. The American closed out the race 57 seconds ahead of Oscar Pereiro of Spain, while Germany's Andreas Kloeden was third, one minute and 29 seconds behind Landis.

Landis gave his teammates the credit for the victory. "It's always clear which team is riding on the front, that they are doing work. But what you don't see is that guys are always keeping you out of the wind, or riding. The whole time the team is doing something. So I owe everything to them, man, they are champs," he said.

Landis said he was never certain he would win the Tour. "I said from the beginning that it was our goal to be here, but it was never sure. There were times when it was highly unlikely, I would say. But we stayed focused on the goal," he said.

Thor Hushovd completed the last stage in a time of three hours, 56 minutes and 52 seconds, edging Australians Robbie McEwen and Stuart O'Grady in a group sprint to the line.

With the victory, Floyd Landis picked up where another American left off last year, when Lance Armstrong completed his seventh and final Tour triumph. Landis is the third American, joining Armstrong and three-time winner Greg LeMond - to win the Tour.

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