Petacchi Wins Stage 4 of Tour
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) has won his second stage of the 2010 Tour de France.
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) has won the second stage of the 2010 Tour de France. Petacchi took a bunch sprint to win the flat, 153.5-km run from Cambrai to Reims in 3:34:55. Julian Dean (Garmin) finished second, and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) finished third. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) remains the yellow jersey.
After three consecutive days of crashes, the peloton was eager for a relatively peaceful ride. The fear of more crashes, combined with sunny, hot weather, led to calm in the peloton throughout. One and a half km into the stage, Dimitri Champion (Ag2r) attacked, and Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel), Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Francis De Graef (Omega Pharma Lotto), and Iban Mayoz (Footon-Servetto) joined him. The quintet ran up a three-minute lead before HTC-Columbia began riding tempo to peg the lead.
The fugitives' lead dropped to 2:00 at 53.5 km, 1:30 at 103.5 km, and 1:00 at 113.5 km. Cervelo took over at the front, and the gap dropped to 0:30 at 123.5 km.
The escapees fought back and extended their advantage to 0:45 at 128.5 km. HTC-Columbia, Rabobank, Team Sky, and Lampre joined Cervelo at the front. The break led the bunch by 0:15 with 10 km remaining.
The peloton absorbed the break with three km left. Danilo Hondo (Lampre) broke for the finish line, but the bunch reeled him in. HTC-Columbia and Cervelo set up trains for Mark Cavendish and Thor Hushovd, respectively, but it was Petacchi who got clear to win.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) by 0:23 and Cadel Evans (BMC) by 0:39. Stage 5 should look like Stage 4. The rolling, 187.5-km run from Epernay to Montargis will have a finale with twisting roads capped off with an uphill straightaway? Who will win? Hushovd? Cavendish? Oscar Freire (Rabobank)?