Lance chases yellow jersey

MONTPELLIER, France - Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong missed out on taking the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey by 0,18 seconds after his Astana team won the fourth-stage time trial yesterday.

MONTPELLIER, France - Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong missed out on taking the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey by 0,18 seconds after his Astana team won the fourth-stage time trial yesterday.

Swiss Fabian Cancellara held a 40-second lead over Armstrong going into the stage, and that was the time by which Astana beat the yellow jersey-holder's Saxo Bank team. Astana completed the 39km course in Montpellier in 46 minutes and 29 seconds, 18 seconds quicker than Garmin, with Saxo Bank third.

It took a few minutes for race stewards to check the times and realise Cancellara had just retained the overall lead.

Armstrong, who put himself within reach of the top spot in Monday's third stage to La Grande Motte, did not spare any energy in attempting to claim back the yellow jersey after nearly four years in retirement.

The American led his eight teammates for most of the treacherous course, on which several crashes took place. Today's fifth stage to Perpignan, with long windswept straights, could be ideal terrain for Armstrong to try again. - Reuters

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