Alessandro Petacchi claims his second stage win of Tour

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Alessandro Petacchi claims his second stage win of Tour

Alessandro Petacchi has won the fourth stage of the Tour de France at Reims.

The Italian, riding for Lampre-Farnese, was taking his second stage win after winning the first stage on Sunday. He held off the challenge of New Zealand’s Julian Dean and Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen towards the end.

As the second-shortest road stage of the Tour- 153.5 kilometres- Petacchi came through with a time of three hours and 34 minutes.

Fabian Cancellara retains his yellow jersey at the top of the overall standings, ahead of Tony Martin by 10 seconds and David Millar by 20 seconds. Seven-time winner Lance Armstrong has climbed up to fourth, while last year’s champion Alberto Contador is in sixth.

Throughout the day, five riders had pulled out a lead over the chasing pack, but with three kilometres to go to the end the race was on. Unlike yesterday’s chaotic drama, today there was a lack of action but the biggest surprise was seeing Mark Cavendish overtaken with the line at his mercy,

"This was a perfect sprint, as perfect were today my legs. Probably yesterday efforts on cobblestones helped me to be very brilliant today," Petacchi told his team's website. "I didn't want to wait for Cavendish to start the sprint, so thanks to an outstanding action by Hondo I began my sprint at 300 metres to go, pedaling in a powerful way on the left side of the road.

"The victory is the prize for the efforts made by the team for me. Today I won even if nobody crashed. I dedicate the success to all the team sponsors and to my mother: today is her birthday."



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