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MENGIN TAKES 16TH STAGE; ULLRICH STILL LEADS TOUR

Christophe Mengin of France won the 16th stage of the Tour de France today and Jan Ullrich of Germany held his overall lead with five days left.

The riders came down from the Swiss Alps and went over the last major climb of the tour, the peak of St. Croix at 5,814 feet -- rated "first category" on a scale measuring height, steepness and difficulty.

Once again, the stage came down to a final sprint.

A group of 22 cyclists went down to the finish of the 112 1/2 -mile stage together, including the top three in the overall standings: Ullrich, Richard Virenque and Marco Pantani.

Mengin hit the finish line ahead of Belgian Franck Vandenbrucke and Virenque.

Ullrich stayed with the leaders of the stage and didn't lose any time to them in the overall positions.

There are three days in eastern France with rolling hills before another time trial around Disneyland Paris, July 26, the day before the race ends on the Champs Elysees.

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