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Dufaux rides to victory in second stage of Tour de Romandie

Switzerland's Laurent Dufaux has taken the second stage of the Tour de Romandie. He completed the 161-kilometre stretch in just under four hours, catapulting him to fifth place in the overall rankings.

Dufaux won a seven-man group sprint to come in first in the second stage from Montreaux to La Chaux-de-Fonds. His front wheel crossed the finish line just ahead of Italy's Francesco Casagrande and France's Yvon Ledanois.

Switzerland's Markus Zberg finished ninth, six seconds behind the seven leaders.

The victory is Dufaux's first in years. After the race, he admitted, "It's been a long time".

The big loser of the day was world number one, and defending champion, France's Laurent Jalabert. He came in more than two minutes behind Dufaux, pushing him down to 72nd place overall.

Wednesday's winner, Mario Cipollini, also performed badly, finishing at the back of field, almost 17 minutes behind the leaders.

Dufaux is now 20 seconds behind the overall leader, Paolo Savoldelli, in fifth place. Fellow Swiss, Roland Meier, is in 12th spot, while Niki Aebersold holds 15th place.

Friday's race is divided into two stages: a 67-kilometre stretch from Marin to Epagnier, followed by a 24-kilometre time trial in Orbe.

swissinfo and agencies

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