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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Leipheimer crashes into Armstrong

Levi Leipheimer
Leipheimer gets some running repairs after his crash

Levi Leipheimer recovered from a crash with fellow American Lance Armstrong to retain the lead after the third stage of the Tour of California.

Leipheimer went down hard early in the stage after colliding with the back end of the bike of his Astana team-mate, and caused a small pile-up.

He had to get a replacement bike before rejoining the race but Armstrong, who is in fourth, remained on his bike.

Norway's Thor Hushovd won the rain-hit stage in a sprint finish.

The Cervelo rider beat Spaniard Oscar Freire and Australia's Mark Renshaw to the line.

"Our team did a great job today. I am really thankful," Hushovd said. "With these men around me I am looking forward to the future."

Briton Mark Cavendish finished the stage in fifth place, having failed to pick up the lead-out by Team Columbia team-mates Renshaw and George Hincapie.

Leipheimer has a 24-second lead in the overall classification ahead of Australian Michael Rogers and American David Zabriskie with Armstrong a further six seconds adrift.

It was the second consecutive day that Armstrong was involved in a crash. On Monday he fell after a motorbike carrying a photographer crashed directly in front of him.

On his Twitter social networking account, Armstrong described the third stage as "Another wet/nasty one".

Wednesday's fourth stage will take the riders 186km from Merced to Clovis in central California.

see also
Armstrong moves up despite fall
17 Feb 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong time-trial bike stolen
16 Feb 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong upbeat after comeback
25 Jan 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong's return in pictures
24 Jan 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong cycle fever hits Down Under
17 Jan 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Armstrong to make shock comeback
10 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Armstrong seals seventh Tour win
24 Jul 05 |  Cycling

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