ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Former champion Rohan Dennis has taken the overall lead in the Tour Down Under cycling race after winning the second stage Wednesday which ended the hopes of the previous leaders.
Australia’s Dennis was one of five riders who broke away at the start of a climb 22 kilometers (13 miles) from the finish. He went on to win the stage by two seconds from compatriot Jay Vine and Mauro Schmid of Switzerland.
Dennis now leads by three seconds on general classification from Vine. Magnus Sheffield of the United States is third 12 seconds behind the leader.
Tour favorite Michael Matthews of Australia, who began the day in the second place, dropped his chain at the start of the final climb and now is out of contention. Italy’s Alberto Bettiol who previously was the overall leader lost his chance when he suffered cramps 11 kilometers (6.5 miles) from the finish.
Wednesday’s 156-kilometer (98-mile) stage was the longest of the tour which ends Sunday atop the 710-meter (2,300-foot) Mount Lofty.
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