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Dominguez falls back after Giro d'Italia opening stage

Spanish cyclist Juan Carlos Dominguez, racing for Switzerland's Phonak team, has failed to retain his lead during the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Dominguez, who won Saturday's individual time trial prologue to the 20-stage tour, was forced to hand on the coveted pink jersey to Italy's veteran sprint cyclist, Mario Cipollini.

Cipollini - dubbed "Super Mario" - claimed victory in Sunday's opening stage with a spectacular sprint finish to a 218-kilometre race from the Dutch city of Groningen to Munster in Germany.

The 35-year-old Italian ended the race on a winning time of 5:37.14, narrowly edging past his Australian rivals, Graeme Brown and Robbie McEwen, who finished second and third respectively.

Dominguez only managed to cross the finishing line in Munster in a disappointing 36th place.

Best-placed Swiss cyclist was Alexandre Moos, who came in 119th. Moos had 24 hours earlier managed a 50th place finish in Saturday's individual time trial.

The second stage of the race, a 209-kilometre hilly course which runs from the German city of Cologne to Liege in Belgium, takes place on Monday.

The cyclists - who will have pedalled a distance of 3,334 kilometres by the time the tour wraps up on June 2 in Milan - are due to cross over into Italy on Friday.

swissinfo with agencies

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