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Heinrich Haussler wins stage, Levi Leipheimer abandons race

Leipheimer, a three-time winner of the Tour of California, drops out with a broken wrist. Lance Armstrong remains third overall, eight seconds off the lead.

July 18, 2009|Lauren Goldman | ; Associated Press

Lance Armstrong stayed in third place after a wet and chilly ride Friday and lost a crucial ally for the rest of the Tour de France when teammate Levi Leipheimer withdrew because of a broken wrist.

Germany's Heinrich Haussler won the 13th stage by outclassing the pack with a solo breakaway, and Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini kept the yellow jersey for a seventh straight day.

Armstrong, the seven-time champion, remained eight seconds behind Nocentini. Astana teammate Alberto Contador, the 2007 Tour champion, is second, six seconds back. Armstrong, Contador and other favorites were 6 minutes 43 seconds behind Haussler.

Leipheimer's withdrawal is a blow to Astana and Armstrong. He is a four-time top-10 finisher at the Tour, including a third-place finish in 2007. He had been in fourth place, 39 seconds behind Nocentini.

He had surgery on the wrist Friday, and Astana said he would return to the United States as soon as possible to begin his recovery.

Quote of the day: "It was really, really cold. To be honest, I don't remember a day in the Tour that has been colder than that one." -- Armstrong

*--* STAGE 13 RESULTS 1. Heinrich Haussler, Germany 4:56:26 2. Amets Txurruka, Spain :4:11 behind 3. Brice Feillu, France 6:13 behind 4. Sylvain Chavanel, France 6:31 behind 5. Peter Velits, Slovakia 6:43 behind *--*

*--* OVERALL STANDINGS 1. Rinaldo Nocentini, Italy 53:30:30 2. Alberto Contador, Spain :06 behind 3. Lance Armstrong, United States :08 behind 4. Bradley Wiggins, Britain :46 behind 5. Andreas Kloeden, Germany :54 behind *--*

Today's stage: The 14th stage is a 123.7-mile ride from Colmar to Besancon, featuring two small climbs.

Destination Besancon: The capital of Franche-Comte in eastern France, Besancon is famous for its microtechnology and watch industries. One of the city's little-known specialties is the production of automatic ticketing machines for car parking, airports and date stamping. As the capital of the watch industry, the city is home to Besancon's grand astronomical clock, housed in Besancon's Cathedral of Saint-Jean. The clock, meant to express the concept that each second of the day the resurrection of Christ transforms the existence of man and the world, exhibits the workmanship of this watch capital, with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the positions of the sun, moon, constellations and major planets. Besancon is also the birthplace of the Lumiere brothers, two of the earliest filmmakers who invented cinematography.

-- Lauren Goldman

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