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Armstrong wins 19th stage

July 25, 2004 15:20 IST

Overall leader Lance Armstrong has won the 19th stage of the Tour de France, a 55-km individual time trial, to all but seal a record sixth successive Tour victory.

U.S. Postal's Armstrong clocked one hour six minutes, 49 seconds to beat Germany's Jan Ullrich by just over a minute, while Ullrich's T-Mobile team mate Andreas Kloeden was third, a further 26 seconds back.

The American's victory on Saturday in the mostly flat countryside around Besancon was his fifth individual stage win of this year's Tour after he blew away his competitors in the mountains, winning four stages and finishing second in the fifth.

The Tour concludes on Sunday with a 163 km flat stage that begins in Montereau and finishes on the Champs Elysees in central Paris where, barring a major accident, Armstrong is expected to surpass the five Tour titles of Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain.

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