Chicchi Takes Stage 4 in Qatar; Mol Retains Lead
Vacansoleil's Mol leads by nine seconds with two stages to go.
Francesco Chicchi won a bunch sprint to take the fourth stage at the Tour of Qatar on Wednesday.
Chicchi, who won the opening stage at last month's Tour de San Luis in Argentina, finished the 146.5-kilometer ride from The Pearl to Al Khor Corniche in three hours, 16 minutes, 58 seconds.
The Liquigas rider and his teammates wore black armbands throughout the stage to commemorate the passing of Italian cycling coach Franco Ballerini, who died earlier this week in a rally car accident.
Cervelo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler was second on the day, and Juan Jose Jaedo of the Saxo Bank squad was third.
Vacansoleil's Wouter Mol, who took over the lead in the race following Stage 2, finished safely with the main pack to retain his hold on the gold jersey. With two stages to go, Mol holds a nine-second edge on Topsport's Geert Steurs.
Haussler kept the silver jersey as the leader of the points classification.
Tom Boonen, winner in Qatar the past two years, wasn't a factor in the final sprint on Wednesday but didn't lose any time during the stage. The Quick Step sprinter, who won the third stage, sits third in the overall standings at 1:55 behind Mol.
The six-stage Tour of Qatar continues Thursday with the 142-kilometer fifth stage from Lusail to Madinat Al Shamal.