BARCELONA, Spain — Lance Armstrong remained a split second behind leader Fabian Cancellara after Thursday’s sixth stage of the Tour de France.
Thor Hushovd of Norway led a mass sprint finish to capture the stage along rain-slick roads south of the French border in Spain.
Cancellara of Switzerland stayed just ahead of the seven-time champion after the 113-mile ride from Gerona to Barcelona.
Hushovd, of the Cervelo team, collected his seventh Tour stage win by edging two Spaniards in the final sprint — three-time world champion Oscar Freire, the runner-up, followed by Jose Joaquin Rojas.
They finished in 4 hours, 21 minutes, 33 seconds, the same time as 40 other riders, including Armstrong and Cancellara in the main pack.
Britain’s David Millar was among the breakaway riders who repeatedly attacked, only to be reeled in by the finish. He was caught with less than a mile left.
The race heads to the first big mountain challenge with Friday’s ride into the Pyrenees from Barcelona to Andorra. The Tour ends July 26 in Paris.