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Cycling: LANCE MOUNTS ATTACK.

LANCE ARMSTRONG pulled off another stunning mountain-stage victory yesterday to claim the lead in the Tour de France and move within reach of his third title.

The Texan finished in 5hrs, 44mins, 22secs to rack up his third stage win of this year's race and claim the yellow jersey from Francois Simon of France dropped to third after finishing 31st.

Andrei Kivilev of Cofidis remains Armstrong's closest challenger overall but he will have trouble overturning a near four-minute deficit.

Armstrong had to fend off a last-gasp breakaway attempt by main rival Jan Ullrich of Germany on the final climb to secure victory.

Ullrich is now over five minutes behind the Texan in fourth overall but it could have been a lot worse as after attempting to up the tempo, he suffered a spill with 40km to go.

Armstrong said: "He's a tough guy. I couldn't believe how spectacular the crash was. For him to come back and keep attacking shows he's really a champion."

EDINBURGH'S Paul French took the Masters downhill title for the second year in a row at the British Mountain Bike Championships in Ludlow yesterday, clocking 2mins 53.08secs. Scottish international Crawford Carrick-Anderson was fifth in the mens' open.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 22, 2001
Words:202
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