Cycling-Clarke claims solo win in Tour Down Under stage two

Reuters

Wed, 18 Jan 09:14:00 2012

Australian Will Clarke broke away after only two kilometres to snatch a solo victory in the second stage of the Tour Down Under on Wednesday.

Tasmanian Clarke of the UniSA team jumped away from the pack almost at the gun and never looked back.

Swiss Martin Kohler (BMC) claimed the overall lead after picking up time bonuses along the 148 kms between Lobethal and Stirling.

"It's my first Pro win and it's a World Tour race, so it doesn't get much better than this," Clarke was quoted as saying on his team's website (www.unisa.edu.au).

His compatriots Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) finished second and third respectively, one minute and two seconds off the pace.

Spain's Alejandro Valverde, returning from a two-year suspension for his implication in the Operation Puerto blood doping scandal, took fourth place for the Movistar team.

Thursday's third stage will take the peloton over 134.5 kms from Unley to Victor Harbor.

The Tour Down Under, the first World Tour (elite) race of the season, ends in Adelaide on Sunday.

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