American Landis leads Tour de France

July 13, 2006 at 7:18 PM

PLA-DE-BERET, Spain, July 13 (UPI) -- American Floyd Landis will wear the leader's yellow jersey in the Tour de France Friday after finishing third in Thursday's 11th stage.

"I would like to keep it until the end," said Landis, referring to the July 23 finish on Paris' Champs-Elysees.

The cycling competition's 12th stage, a mostly flat 212-kilometer sprint from Luchon to Carcassonne in France will be held on Bastille Day in France.

Russia's Denis Menchov edged Landis and fellow American Levi Leipheimer in a sprint to win Thursday's 208-kilometer trek through the Pyrenees from Tarbes-Val d'Aran to Pla-de-Beret in Spain, in six hours, six minutes and 25 seconds, but Landis took the overall Tour lead.

Frenchman Cyril Dessel, who began the stage in the yellow jersey, finished 18th, four minutes and 45 seconds behind the leaders, to fall into second place overall. He is just eight seconds behind Landis in the overall standings. Menchov is third overall, 1:01 behind Landis.

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