Boardman stays in contention

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The Independent Online

Chris Boardman maintained his overall position of fourth place as the Frenchman Laurent Jalabert stayed in the lead with a second place finish in yesterday's fifth stage of the Paris-Nice race.

The Italian Stefano Casagranda had an individual victory as he staged a one-man breakaway for most of the 99-mile loop around Millau. Jalabert led the sprint for second place 27 seconds behind Casagranda and increased his advantage in the overall standings to 43 seconds over the American Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong, who was second the two previous stages to Jalabert, was ninth for the day in the same time as Jalabert but the defending champion gained some bonus seconds for the runner-up finish. Boardman is 1min 17sec behind Jalabert.

Djamolidine Abdujaparovbeat the pack to take the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race. The Dutchman Leon van Bon, who finished the stage from Ferentino to Santa Marinella, near Rome, in the same time as Abdujaparov, retained the overall lead.