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Sutton wins Vuelta 2nd stage; Bennati takes lead

Updated: August 21, 2011, 14:45


Australian Christopher Sutton from the Sky team reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the second stage of the Spanish Vuelta cycling race over 174 kilometers with start in La Nucia and finish in Playas de Orihuela, Spain, Sunday Aug. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

PLAYAS DE ORIHUELA, Spain (AP) Australian rider Christopher Sutton edged out the pack to win the second stage of the Spanish Vuelta, while Daniele Bennati took the leader's jersey from Leopard teammate Jakob Fuglsang.

Under a scorching sun with temperatures reaching 104 degrees, Sutton completed the 109-mile course from La Nucia to Playas de Orihuela in 4 hours, 11 minutes, 41 seconds.

Bennati finished with the same time in the peloton of more than 80 cyclists. He dedicated his achievement to teammate Wouter Weylandt, who was killed in an accident during this year's Giro d'Italia.

"I have taken wins since Wouter has passed away, but this is the first honor I dedicate specifically to him,'' Bennati said. "We didn't know each other long, but in the time that we got to know each other we became close friends.''

The Italian leads three teammates at the top of the overall standings. Defending champion Vicenzo Nibali of Italy is 4 seconds behind.

Monday's third stage is a 101-mile ride from Petrer to Totana along Spain's southeastern coast.

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