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Dane Cycles Into Lead

Tue., July 9, 1996

Denmark’s Bjarne Riis took the overall lead in the Tour de France, winning the ninth leg after snow forced organizers to eliminate two mountain climbs.

Riis made a long solo breakaway and won by 24 seconds over France’s Luc Leblanc in the stage shortened from 117.5 miles to 28 miles. Berzin finished 14th, 1:23 behind Riis.

Initially, the organizers were to skip the Col de l’Iseran, the highest scheduled point on this year’s tour. Then high winds and snow forced the cancellation of a second climb on the 8,731-foot Col de Galibier.

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