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French take Tour de France 12th stage

July 14, 2005 at 11:38 AM

DIGNE-LES-BAINS, France, July 14 (UPI) -- French cyclist David Moncoutie gave his country its first victory in this year's Tour de France Thursday, winning the alpine 117-mile 12th stage.

On France's Bastille Day, fellow Frenchman Sandy Casar placed second, 57 seconds behind Moncoutie's winning time of 4:20.06, while two other Frenchmen, Patrice Hagland and Franco Pellizotti, finished fourth and sixth, respectively.

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Six-time defending champion Lance Armstrong retained his 38-second overall advantage over Denmark's Michael Rasmussen for the lead, but finished 41st, 10 minutes, 33 seconds behind Moncoutie.

Rasmussen was also in the main pack and placed 46th, while France's Christophe Moreau remains third following a 44th-place performance.

Belgian Tom Boonen, who was the race's sprint points leader, withdrew from the race after injuring his right knee in a crash Wednesday.

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