PLA D'ADET, France (AP) -- Lance Armstrong posted another impressive mountain-stage victory Saturday and took the lead in the Tour de France in quest of his third straight title.
It was his third stage win in this year's race.
Armstrong finished the difficult 120.47-mile stretch about one minute ahead of his main rival, Germany's Jan Ullrich, and moved from third to first place in the standings. He had led Ullrich by 4:05 before the start of Saturday's stage.
There are only seven stages remaining. Only one of those -- Sunday's stretch from Tarbes to Luz-Ardiden -- takes place in the mountains. The race standings are unlikely to change significantly once riders leave the Pyrenees.
Armstrong, his U.S. Postal Service teammate Roberto Heras and Ullrich broke from the front pack at the foot of the final climb.
With about four miles left, Ullrich passed between the two U.S. Postal riders and took the lead.
Heras, from Spain, dropped back, but Armstrong gave chase. A few minutes later, he moved in front, then suddenly increased his pace, leaving the Team Telekom rider far back. He then overtook France's Laurent Jalabert, who had led for most of the stage.
It was the third time Armstrong has beaten Ullrich in the closing stretch of a mountain stage in this year's Tour. He also was faster than Ullrich in an uphill time-trial in the Alps.
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