MODESTO, Calif. — Italian rider Francesco Chicchi emerged from a mass sprint to upset Manx rider, Mark Cavendish and win stage 4 of the Tour of California on Wednesday, while American David Zabriskie held onto his slim overall lead. Chicchi completed the 121.5-mile ride from San Jose to Modesto in 4 hours, 55 minutes and 2 seconds. The Liquigas rider narrowly held off Juan Jose Haedo of Saxo-Bank and Cavendish, the HTC-Columbia rider who won the opening stage. Both had the same time as the winner.
“Mark and I are rivals on the bike, but we are good friends off the bike,” said the 29-year-old Chicchi, who claimed his fifth win of the season. “Winning is always good, but to beat the No. 1 is even better.”
Cavendish, who has won 10 stages of the Tour de France the past two years, has more than 60 pro wins and is generally considered cycling’s best sprinter.