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Lance gains time on chief rivals

Updated: July 17, 2004, 12:06 PM ET
Associated Press

LA MONGIE, France -- The mountains bring out the best in Lance Armstrong.

The Tour de France champion took a big step toward a record sixth straight crown Friday with a display of climbing in the Pyrenees that left contenders dazed.

Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton, Iban Mayo and Roberto Heras saw their dreams of dethroning the Texan fade as Armstrong's blue jersey disappeared into the distance on a punishing ascent to the La Mongie ski station.

Armstrong moved from sixth to second ...

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