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Italian takes Stage 4 of Tour


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REIMS, France – Alessandro Petacchi of Italy won the fourth stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint yesterday, with the main contenders for the yellow jersey finishing safely
in the main pack.
The Lampre rider collected his second stage win this Tour in the
153.5-kilometre ride from Cambrai to the champagne capital Reims – a mostly flat trek
that appeared tailor-made for sprinters.
Petacchi, competing in his first Tour since 2005, veered out wide left to get a jump on three lead riders with a few metres left, and pedalled furiously to hold them
off at the finish.
He edged Julian Dean of New Zealand into second, with Edval Boasson Hagen
of Norway third.
The pack had the same time as Petacchi: 3 hours, 34 minutes, 55 seconds.
“I’m really happy . . .
I had nothing to lose,
and I wanted to try my chances,” said Petacchi, who won four stages
in the 2004 Tour.