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Armstrong holds lead after 17th race stage

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MONTLUCON, France — Lance Armstrong finished 13 seconds behind the winner in the 17th stage of the Tour de France Thursday, and moved closer to winning his third straight title.

Belgium's Serge Baguet won the stage, beating Jakob Piil of Denmark in the final sprint.

Baguet, who rides for the Lotto team, completed the 120.3-mile stretch between Brive-la-Gaillarde and Montlucon in 4 hours, 13 minutes, 36 seconds.

He crossed the line just ahead of Piil, who had the same time, and five seconds ahead of third-place Italian Massimiliano Lelli.

Armstrong finished with the main pack, and retained the overall leader's yellow jersey, with an unchanged advantage of 5:05 over his closest rival, Jan Ullrich of Germany. Kazakstan's Andrei Kivilev remained third, 5:13 behind Armstrong.

The race ends Sunday in Paris.

Australia's Stuart O'Grady retained the green jersey for the best sprinter, although Germany's Erik Zabel reduced his deficit with three stages to go.

Friday's stage is a tough 37.82-mile individual time-trial from Montlucon to Saint-Amand-Montrond.