Lance Armstrong (search) survived a rain-soaked and crash-marred sixth stage of the Tour de France won by Italy's Lorenzo Bernucci on Thursday and maintained the overall lead.

Armstrong's advantage over Alexandre Vinokourov narrowed to 53 seconds after the rider from Kazakhstan (search) placed second in the stage from Troyes to Nancy. Vinokourov entered the day 1:21 behind the six-time champion.

"It wasn't pretty today," Armstrong said.

The pack rode through downpours that turned roads slick and chilled riders.

The stage win was Bernucci's first at the Tour. He took the lead on the final turn when French rider Christophe Mengin (search) slipped and crashed into a safety barrier.