Reims: Italian Alessandro Petacchi surged to his second sprint victory of this year`s Tour de France in the 153.5-km fourth stage to Reims on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Lampre rider, who won the first stage in Brussels, charged in the final stretch of the shortest stage of the Tour to beat New Zealand`s Julian Dean and Norway`s Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Swiss Fabian Cancellara retained the overall lead at the end a quiet ride compared to the havoc and crashes of the two previous days.
Briton Mark Cavendish, winner of six stages in 2009, was closely watched by his rivals and he failed to deliver once again.
The rider from the Isle of Man was ideally positioned by team mate Mark Renshaw in the finale but was incapable of changing gear when Petacchi powered to the finish line.
It was Petacchi`s 156th career victory, strengthening his position as the most successful active rider. It was also his sixth Tour stage victory.