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ULLRICH KEEPS LEAD AS AUSSIE WINS STAGE

Australian Neil Stephens captured the 17th stage of the Tour de France today as the race re-entered France from Germany. Jan Ullrich of Germany stayed in the overall lead.

Richard Virenque of France held on to second place overall, more than six minutes behind. Stephens was part of a 13-rider breakaway that built up a 7-minute advantage over the main pack.

Ullrich is virtually certain of winning the race, barring a serious mishap or accident over the next four days.

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