REIMS, France (AP) — Alessandro Petacchi has won the fourth stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint with Lance Armstrong and other contenders finishing in the pack.
The Italian collected his second stage win this year in the mostly flat 95.4-mile ride from Cambrai to the champagne capital Reims on Wednesday.
Overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland also crossed in the main pack and appeared set to retain the yellow jersey.
Seven-time champion Armstrong also finished safely a day after losing time because of a punctured tire.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
CAMBRAI, France (AP) — Lance Armstrong says he'll need to be "opportunistic" to make up ground at the Tour de France as the race started a mostly flat and short fourth stage.
The 95-mile ride Wednesday from Cambrai to the champagne capital Reims doesn't feature any major difficulty and looks tailor-made for sprinters.
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland is wearing the yellow jersey after recovering it during Tuesday's ride over cobblestones — where Armstrong popped a tire and lost precious seconds.
Among the overall contenders, two-time Tour runner-up Cadel Evans is third, 39 seconds back, two-time champion Alberto Contador is ninth, 1:40 back, and Armstrong is 18th, 2:30 back.
The three-week race ends July 25 in Paris.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.