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PANTINI WINS AGAIN IN ALPS

Marco Pantani of Italy won his second mountain stage in three days at the Tour de France today while Jan Ullrich continued to lead the race with six days to go.

Pantani took off with about 10.6 miles to go on the final climb up the peak of Joux Plane (5,559 feet) as a part of a group of 11 riders that broke away from the main pack. The small group included Ullrich and Richard Virenque, second overall and the winner of Sunday's stage.

Pantani went on to win by more than a minute. Ullrich and Virenque took off to control the distance between them and Pantani in the 15th stage from Courchevel to Morzine, 130 miles with three major climbs.

As on Sunday, Virenque provided the leg work with Ullrich just sitting back and staying on Virenque's wheel.

Virenque finished second in the stage with Ullrich third and still maintaining a 6-minute, 22-second margin over Virenque in the overall standing.

Pantani moved into third place overall but is still more than 10 minutes behind Ullrich. Last year's winner, Bjarne Riis, dropped to fourth, almost 12 minutes back.

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