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Armstrong Maintains Overall Lead at Tour de France - 2003-07-18


American Lance Armstrong still holds the overall lead in Tour de France as he aims for a record-tying fifth consecutive win, but a former winner and key rival has moved into second place after Friday's individual time trial.

Germany's Jan Ullrich won the 47-kilometer 12th stage as the riders raced individually against the clock from Gaillac to Cap Decouverte. Ullrich clocked 58:32 minutes, and that was an impressive 1:36 minutes better than Armstrong, who was second in the stage.

It was the 29-year-old German's first win in a timed test on the Tour since 1998. Ullrich won the Tour de France in 1997. The Bianchi team leader missed last year's Tour because of a knee injury and a doping ban.

Armstrong leads Ullrich in the overall standings by only 34 seconds with four grueling stages coming up in the Pyrenees mountains. The cyclist who had been in second place, Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov, finished third on the day and is now in third overall, trailing the American by 51 seconds.

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