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Thor Hushovd sprints to stage victory

Norwegian sprinter wins on the wet streets of Barcelona. Lance Armstrong finishes in front group of riders to remain second overall.

July 10, 2009|Lauren Goldman | Associated Press

Lance Armstrong remained a split second behind leader Fabian Cancellara after Thursday's sixth stage of the Tour de France.

Thor Hushovd of Norway led a mass sprint finish to win the stage along rain-slick roads south of the French border in Spain.

Cancellara, of Switzerland, stayed just ahead of the seven-time champion after the 113-mile ride from Gerona to Barcelona.

Hushovd, of the Cervelo team, collected his seventh Tour stage win by edging two Spaniards in the final sprint -- three-time world champion Oscar Freire, the runner-up, followed by Jose Joaquin Rojas.

The Tour ends July 26 in Paris.

Quote of the day: "Not many days I've regretted my decision [to come back], today it may be one of them. I'm being facetious, but you're just always on edge, with crashes all around you." -- Armstrong, after a day spent in the rain on slippery roads.

STAGE 6 RESULTS

1. Thor Hushovd, Norway

4:21:33

2. Oscar Freire, Spain

same time

3. Jose Joaquin Rojas, Spain

same time

4. Gerald Ciolek, Germany

same time

5. Franco Pellizotti, Italy

same time

OVERALL STANDINGS

1. Fabian Cancellara, Switzerland

19:29:22

2. Lance Armstrong, United States

same time

3. Alberto Contador, Spain

:19 behind

4. Andreas Kloden, Germany

:23 behind

5. Levi Leipheimer, United States

:31 behind

Today's stage: The seventh stage is the first big mountain stage, taking the riders 139.2 miles from Barcelona to an uphill finish at the Arcalis ski station in Andorra.

-- Associated Press

Destination Andorre Arcalis: A ski resort in the Vallnord area of the principality of Andorra, Andorre Arcalis sits at an altitude of 1.2 miles and serves as a snow sport haven during winter and spring. It is part of the parish of Ordino -- one of the seven parishes of Andorra -- which is home to 2,500 people and is a cultural hub. Although the riders will be moving quickly through the area, others can glide through by riding the Tobotronc Alpine Coaster, a toboggan that begins in a nearby parish called Sant Julia de Loria and runs over three miles.

-- Lauren Goldman

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