McEwen wins 7th stage of Tour de France

July 8, 2005 at 2:22 PM

KARLSRUHE, Germany, July 8 (UPI) -- Australia's Robbie McEwen won the seventh stage of the Tour de France Friday while American Lance Armstrong maintained his overall lead.

McEwen, who sprinted to a win in Wednesday's fifth stage, outraced Magnus Backstedt of Sweden at the rainy finish of the 142-mile seventh stage in Karlsruhe, Germany. The stage began in Lunaville, France.

Meanwhile, six-time defending champion Armstrong, 33, continued his bid for a seventh Tour de France victory by staying with the pack to finish 53rd and maintain a 55-second overall lead over Discovery Channel teammate and fellow American George Hincapie.

There were no changes in the top overall spots.

Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan trailed Armstrong by 1 minute and 4 seconds, while Germany's Jens Voigt was 2 seconds slower than Vinokourov.

Saturday's 143.8-mile eighth stage begins in Pforzheim, Germany, heads into the Vosges Mountains and ends in Gerardmer, France.

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