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WORLD SPORT

Landis secures Tour de France win

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Landis raises a toast as he celebrates winning his first Tour de France.

PARIS, France -- American Floyd Landis was crowned Tour de France champion after Sunday's parade on the Champs-Elysees ended in a sprint won by Norway's Thor Hushovd.

Landis sealed his victory after finishing third in Saturday's time trial, beating his closest rivals to succeed compatriot Lance Armstrong in the famous race's roll of honor.

Spain's Oscar Pereiro was second overall and Andreas Kloeden of Germany finished third.

Landis, who will undergo hip surgery within the next two months, said: "My goal is to come back here. Yes, that's the plan."

The Phonak rider, a former team-mate of Armstrong who retired last year following his record seventh consecutive Tour win, made up eight minutes when he won Thursday's 17th stage in the Alps in one of the greatest rides in Tour history.

The American had lost ground on the ascent to La Toussuire on Wednesday but dug deep to close the gap on Pereiro in a solo effort reminiscent of the 1971 showing by Spaniard Luis Ocana, who beat Belgian great Eddy Merckx by 8:42 in the Pyrenees.

The white jersey for the best young rider went to Italy's Damiano Cunego two years after the "Little Prince" won the Giro d'Italia.

Australian Robbie McEwen, who won three stages in this year's Tour, claimed the green jersey for the best sprinter for the third time after taking it in 2002 and 2004.

Dane Michael Rasmussen retained the polka-dot jersey for the best climber.

Many riders pulled funny faces before an emotional Jean-Marie Leblanc, directing his last Tour, signalled the real start of the last stage.

Russian Viatceslav Ekimov, taking part in his 15th and final Tour, entered the Champs-Elysees in first place after being freed by the peloton.

During the third of the eight laps on the famous avenue, 14 riders went ahead to open up a 30-second gap. A small bunch of riders, including the top sprinters, broke clear in the last kilometer.

McEwen launched his sprint too early and was denied an unprecedented third victory on the Champs-Elysees by Hushovd, who had already won the prologue.

Australian Stuart O'Grady took third place on the stage.

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