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Berzin Takes Tour Lead

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 1996

Russian Yevgeny Berzin took the overall lead in the Tour de France after a stage won by Luc LeBlanc of France as five-time champion Miguel Indurain faded.

Indurain dropped more than 4 minutes back in the seventh stage, the first mountain leg of the race.

LeBlanc took the lead in the final 3 miles to win the stage. Stephane Heulot, who led for the last three days, became the latest victim of the mountain roads.

There was a rash of spills throughout the day. The scariest moment came on the second descent, when Belgian rider Johan Bruyneel took a corner too wide, clipped a concrete barrier and disappeared over the cliff beyond.

“I fell about (30 feet) into a tree. I didn’t know how far I was going to fall. I was just happy there was a tree there,” said Bruyneel, who wasn’t seriously hurt and finished the stage.

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