Lance Armstrong Takes Tour de France Lead

07/21/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT

Lance Armstrong Takes Tour de France Lead
Robert Laberge/Getty
With five stages remaining in the Tour de France as of Wednesday morning, Lance Armstrong has a chance to widen his lead and win a record sixth consecutive victory in the three-week cycling race.

On Tuesday, the Texas champ regained the top spot from France's Thomas Voeckler (who held that distinction since July 8) as the race entered the Alps in its 15th stage.

Slipping on the yellow leader's jersey for the first time in this year's race and the 61st time in his career, Armstrong, 32, told reporters: "It's exciting to take the yellow jersey."

Armstrong then received a big smooch from his rocker girlfriend since last fall, Sheryl Crow, who's been accompanying the athlete and his U.S. Postal Service-sponsored team throughout the competition.

Another fan on hand Tuesday: Armstrong's pal, comic Robin Williams. "Oh, God – it's Bikestock," Williams, 51, exclaimed. The entertainer also handed out drinks and snacks to Armstrong and his teammates.

Wednesday's ride will be a grueling 9.6-mile time trial up one of Armstrong's favorite mountains, where he won the stage in 2001, reports the Associated Press. The course features 21 hairpin turns and goes through an Alpine retreat where upwards of a million cycling fans have come for a look.

Armstrong leads overall by nearly a minute-and-a-half. The ultimate victor in this year's competition will be crowned in Paris on Sunday.

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