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Knaven Wins Tour de France Stage 17 - 2003-07-24


Dutch cyclist Servais Knaven has won the 17th stage of the Tour de France, but four-time champion Lance Armstrong of the United States remains on pace to win his fifth title.

Knaven finished the 181 kilometer ride from Dax to Bordeaux in 3:54:23 hours, 17 seconds ahead of a breakaway group of riders. Paolo Bossoni of Italy was second with Christophe Mengin of France third.

Armstrong finished with the main pack, 8:06 minutes, behind the winner. The American holds a 1:07 minutes lead over his chief rival - former Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich of Germany. Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan is in third place overall, two minutes, 45 seconds behind Armstrong.

Friday's 18th stage covers 203.5 kilometers, from Bordeaux to Saint-Maixent-L'Ecole. The Tour ends Sunday in Paris.

Lance Armstrong is attempting to win his fifth consecutive Tour de France, a feat last accomplished by Spain's Miguel Indurain in 1995. Only four other riders, Jacques Anquetil of France, Eddie Merckx of Belgium, Bernard Hinault of France and Indurain, have won the Tour five times. Only Indurain has won it five years in a row.