Tyler Farrar, a native of Wenatchee, almost became the first American to win a stage of this year's Tour de France.
Farrar was within a half a bike length of British sprinter Mark Cavendish, who won Wednesdays leg of the race to put him in fourth place overall. It was his second consecutive win of the tour. Rinaldo Nocentini continues to wear the leader's yellow jersey.
Cavendish overtook Farrar at the end of Wednesday's race, sprinting ahead of him in the closing seconds. It was the American's third top-3 finish of the tour. Nocentini retains a six second lead over 2007 champion Alberto Contador. Seven-time winner Lance Armstrong is eight seconds back.
Farrar, the U.S. junior national champion in 2002 upset Cavendish earlier in the season in the third stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy in March.