Cycling: Kiwi Patrick Bevin wins stage two of Tour Down Under

Patrick Bevin moments after crossing the line in first.
Patrick Bevin moments after crossing the line in first. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevin has unleashed an outstanding sprint to win stage two of the Tour Down Under.

A big crash split the field in the last kilometre at the Barossa town of Angaston and there was no immediate word on casualties.

The win also gives Bevin (CCC Team) the race lead, five seconds ahead of Italian stage-one winner Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) rebounded from his stage-one disappointment to take second and Slovakian star Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third, while Viviani also finished inside the top 10.

Bevin shot past Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), who made a long charge to the line.

The Kiwi used his strength on the uphill 700m finishing straight to hold off the sprinters.

"On a finish like that, I can play my cards pretty well," Bevin said.

"I don't think winning stage two was ever really on the cards, but just the way, with the hard, 'draggy' finish... Sanchez was off the front and gave me a perfect springboard."

On stage one, Bevin showed that he had come to the tour with good form, when he was involved in the day's breakaway trio.

The temperature hit the high 30s on Wednesday in Angaston, just shy of the 40C forecast for stage two.

Cloud cover gave some respite to riders and spectators, but the stage was shortened by 27km because of the heat.

Australian Jason Lea (UniSA) was in the break for the second straight day, along with Kazakh Artyom Zakharov (Astana) and Spaniard Jaime Castrillo (Movistar).

They were caught with 55km left and with 40km left, French rider Mathieu Ladagnous made a solo charge.

He survived until just under 3km from the finish.