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Rinaldo Nocentini, foreground, right, leads seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, foreground, left, by six seconds. ((Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images))

Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong remains in third place in the Tour de France cycling race, after Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez won the eighth stage Saturday in a sprint ahead of three other breakaway riders.

Rinaldo Nocentini of Italy earned the yellow jersey for the second straight day by finishing in a pack with Armstrong and his Astana teammate Alberto Contador. Contador, the 2007 Tour winner, is six seconds back, with Armstrong eight seconds back.

Their teammate, Levi Leipheimer, is 39 seconds off the pace in fourth.

Sanchez, who won the Paris-Nice stage race in March, pointed skyward and tapped his chest after he crossed the line just ahead of France's Sandy Casar and Mikel Astarloza of Spain.

They clocked 4 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds for the 110-mile trek along three big climbs from the Pyrenean principality of Andorra to Saint-Girons.

Vladimir Efimkin, who was reeled in after a failed solo breakaway, finished the stage in fourth, while the main pack trailed one minute, 54 seconds behind.

"That was a really long, hard climb," said Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Slipstream team.

The Tour ends July 26 in Paris, with the Alps, a final individual time trial and the dreaded Mont Ventoux awaiting.