Patrick Bevin wins 2nd stage of Tour Down Under

ADELAIDE, Australia — Patrick Bevin of New Zealand won the second stage of the Tour Down Under cycling race in sizzling heat Wednesday as a crash in the final minutes wiped out several of the leading contenders.

Riding for WorldTeam CCC, Bevin is not known as a sprinter but he timed his final move perfectly after the crash to claim the stage win ahead of defending champion Caleb Ewan and three-time world champion Peter Sagan.

The stage from Norwood to Angaston through the Barossa Valley wine-growing region was shortened by 27 kilometers (17 miles) under the race's heat protocol because temperatures were forecast to reach 40 degrees (104 fahrenheit). Riders were allowed extra hydration and the heat did not become a major factor.

The crash near the finish in the small town of Angaston, 75 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Adelaide, blocked the road and confounded the plans of several teams, leaving only a small group of riders in contention.

Of the riders unaffected by the crash, Daryl Impey of South Africa and Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain were prominent but Bevin had the best finish to take the stage and claim the overall race lead.

He leads by five seconds in the overall standings, ahead of first stage winner Elia Viviani with Ewan a further four seconds behind.

Bevin dismissed suggestions his stage win Wednesday was a surprise.

"I think in a finish like that I could play my cards pretty well," he said.

The second stage was similar to the first, featuring a small breakaway almost immediately after the start.

Jason Lea of Australia and Arytyom Zakharov of Kazhakstan, who both featured in the first-stage breakaway, were joined Wednesday by Jaime Castrillo of Spain's Movistar Team.

The group was the first over the top of Checkers Hill, but they were pulled back by the peloton with 55 kilometers (35 miles) to go.

Matthieu Ladagnous of France launched a solo break at the 42 kilometer mark (26 mile) and led by up to 1 minute, 30 seconds, holding off the peloton until he was within a few kilometers (miles) of the finish.

Most teams had moved their sprinters into contention, but the late crash took out several contenders and left the road open for Bevin's surprise win.

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