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MARBELLA, August 29, 2010 (AFP) - Britain's Mark Cavendish retained the leader's red jersey after the second stage of the Tour of Spain on Sunday. He was beaten to the line in a sprint finish by Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus.
Hutarovich, of the Francaise des Jeux team, pulled off a surprise victory over the British sprint king at the end of the 173.7-kilometer course from Alcala de Guadaira to Marbella in southern Spain. Third was American Tyler Farrar, ahead of Italy's Alessandro Petacchi.
It was the first stage win in any of the three Grands Tour for the 26-year-old. "It might seem like a surprise but it wasn't, it's my fifth victory this season," said the Belarusian, who turned professional in 2007. "I came with the intention of winning a stage, I've therefore achieved that." But he admitted that "when I saw that I had won, I couldn't believe it. But I saw Cavendish, the leader, had some problems and I knew I had a chance."
Spain's three-time World Road Race champion Oscar Freire admitted he was "surprised" by Hutarovich's win. "I don't know him, I have never heard his name," he said. "But we'll have to watch him, as he has just beaten one of the best current sprinters, Cavendish."
The Briton, making his Tour of Spain debut, holds a 12-second lead in the overall standings over a group of four riders - Kanstantsin Sivtov of Belarus, Peter Velits of Slovakia, American Tejay Van Garderen and Australians Matthew Goss and Hayden Roulston.
The 25-year-old Isle of Man rider on Saturday powered his HTC-Columbia team to victory in the opening stage, a 13-kilometer team time trial held at night under floodlights in the southern city of Seville.