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Giro d'Italia 2019: Stage 2


Welcome one and all to day two of the Giro d'Italia. We're here with your daily fix of cycling this May. Put on a brew and sit back as we take you through stage 2. 

After yesterday's time trial, we have the first open road stage of the Giro d'Italia. One rider not starting today's stage is Hiroki Nishimura, who missed the time cut yesterday. You can read the full story on it here

Around 15 minutes until the riders roll out and teams are currently signing in. It's pretty cold out there after the weather took a turn following yesterday's stage, so there are plenty of layers on. 


Fernando Gaviria is one of the riders who will be looking to get the first win on the board today. On paper, today should be one for the sprinters but there are a number of tricky climbs in the finale. Those, combined with the weather, will make it tough for the fast men to hang on to the pack. 


Of course, after taking the stage win yesterday, Primoz Roglic is in pink for today's stage. He should be safe today, but he will have to take care in the conditions. 


1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 12:54:00
2 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:19:00
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:23:00
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:28:00
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:33:00
7 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos 0:35:00
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:39:00
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:40:00


Roglic does not have a pink bike, it's a little too early int he race for that, but his mechanics have given him some pink bar tape. The colour scheme is a bit of an assault on the senses, but there you go. 


As well as the pink jersey being awarded, the mountains classification was awarded yesterday. Giulio Ciccone was the fastest up the climb in the time trial and will wear the blue jersey today. This is how the classification looks ahead of the stage. 


1 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 9 pts
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 4
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 2
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 1


The riders are currently making their way through the neutral zone and should be reaching kilometre zero in short order. 


It is pouring in Italy at the moment, according to our reporter Stephen Farrand. A bit of wind about there too, with the temperatures hovering around the 12-degree mark. It should dry out there later. Here is the race leader Primoz Roglic well wrapped up on the sign-on podium and at the start line. 


Even though it was a pretty short time trial to open the Giro d'Italia, there was plenty to unpick in the battle for the general classification. Stephen Farrand and Alasdair Fotheringham have taken a look at what yesterday's stage did to the overall classification and you can read that here


Meanwhile, the stage is now underway properly and we've already had a few attacks off the front of the peloton. At the moment, we have a group of eight riders with a gap over the bunch. 


We're waiting for names and time gaps at the moment. It's a long day out there today so the peloton will be quite eager to let a break go early and keep the average speed down in this first part of the stage. 


The leaders have one minute on the peloton at the moment. The lucky eight out front are: Francois Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale), Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF), Lukasz Owsian (CCC Team), Sean Bennett (EF Education First), Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Giulio Ciccone and William Clarke (Trek-Segafredo).


It's of little surprise that Ciccone is in the breakaway, he really seems to be looking for this mountains classification jersey. He was one of the few that actually changed bikes yesterday, so he did that final climb on his road bike. He has some help with teammate William Clarke also making it into this move. 

Of course, Trek-Segafredo have Bauke Mollema to protect as their GC leader but he is not one of the big favourites and Trek don't need to keep their whole team back to look after him. This means that they can play their cars and look elsewhere for additional successes. 


192km remaining from 205km

The gap is growing quickly now and after 13 kilometres the eight out out front have got 3:55 on the bunch behind. 


Incidentally, Ciccone is the best placed rider of the breakaway in the overall classification and he is the virtual maglia rosa. Jumbo-Visma will be keeping a watchful eye on him, though they might be happy to hand over the race lead to someone they don't deem to be a serious threat. 


Jumbo-Visma are doing the work on the front of the bunch early on, but the sprint teams are likely to help manage things as they will not want to let these guys get too much room. This is a chance for the fast men to get one on the board in this opening week. It is not straightforward, as Italian champion Elia Viviani explained


Viviani's major competition today will be his former teammate Fernando Gaviria. Between them, the two have dominated the sprints in the last two Giri d'Italia so it will be interesting to see how this battle unfurls over the coming weeks. 


"Today our aim is to have a sprint arrival. There will be also other teams with this goal," said Gaviria. "The two climbs and the downhills in the final part of the stage will be more difficult than usual because of the rain, but this is for all the riders today.


"I have good feelings, I trained at home and I aim to come back to victory, since I have not won since late February."


There are, of course, more sprinters than just Viviani and Gaviria here. Bora-Hansgrohe have brought Pascal Ackermann, who is under pressure to perform after the team opted to bring him over Sam Bennett. Jakub Mareczko is here for CCC Team, Sacha Modolo for EF Education First, Groupama-FDJ have Arnaud Demare, Israel Cycling Academy has Davide Cimolai, Caleb Ewan is here with Lotto Soudal, Dimension Data has Giacomo Nizzolo and Nippo Vini Fantini has Juan Jose Lobato. 


Israel Cycling Academy are the only wildcard team not to have someone in the breakaway, which was either a mistake or their putting all their cards into the basket of Cimolai int he sprint today. 


The gap to the escapees has nudged out a little, though not too much, with the advantage of the escapees now 4:16. 


We can see some flags out there and they are being given a bit of a battering in the wind. It really is miserable out there. 


165km remaining from 205km

As expected, QuickStep, Lotto Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates are helping Jumbo-Visma at the front of the peloton. Each of the aforementioned teams have one rider apiece with the whole of Jumbo-Visma to the fore. 


As well as the safety aspect of riding in these conditions, the riders will have to be careful not to get too cold, particularly those who are hoping to win today. If you come too cold into the sprint then you're going to struggle. It's not just about making it through to the finale, but looking after yourself along the way. 


While the riders toil in the rain, we get a shot of the finish line. It is currently bathed in sunshine and it is expected to remain so for the riders when they arrive. So we should have a dry sprint, which is a relief. 


The gap is yo-yoing a little bit as the peloton tries to keep control of the leaders on this long unclassified rise. It briefly dropped down below four minutes but it now sits at 4:15.


Despite the weather, there are quite a few fans out on the road to cheer the riders on. They'll be a welcome sight to spur them on with over 150km still to go. If it felt like yesterday's time trial went on for a while, we're in for a pretty long day. At least we're all dry.


There is a mixture of youth and experience in this breakaway. Marco Frapporti, who will be familiar to regular followers of the Giro d'Italia, is joint oldest in the group along with Will Clarke (both are 34). He is riding his sixth Giro d'Italia, while Clarke is riding his first. Sean Bennett is the youngest at 23 and is riding hid first Grand Tour. 


149km remaining from 205km

Cesare Benedetti is leading the peloton down the wet descent from this unclassified climb. It's pretty hairy stuff in these conditions but he's not giving anything away. 


The pressure being put on at the moment is cutting into the advantage of the leaders. The gap to the eight out front is 3:44 with Jelle Vanendert now pushing things on in the bunch. 


After that short descent, the road flattened out and now we're heading downhill again. The road will then level out again for s long run through the valley. There's the feed zone to come before we get two intermediate sprints in quick succession and then two classified climbs. 

It looks like the weather has abated and the roads are getting drier. There is still water flicking up off the back of the TV moto but the roads themselves seem much better. 


This is a fast descent and the TV moto in front of the peloton is having difficulty staying ahead of the bunch. Vanendert has to dab on the brakes to avoid getting too close. The main part of the descent is just about over, but the riders will continue descending at a shallower gradient for quite some time. 


With the two classified climbs still to come, a reminder of the mountains classification standings. Only Ciccone is in the breakaway, so he will keep his jersey for another day, but he may have to fight with some of his companions if he wants to extend his lead int he mountains competition.


1 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 9 pts
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 4
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 2
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 1


128km remaining from 205km

Dario Cataldo (Astana) briefly rode up to the front of the peloton and had a chat with one of the Jumbo-Visma riders. It's not clear what he was talking about, but he gestured up the road. He has now dropped back down. 


Cataldo's teammate, Miguel Angel Lopez is in the young rider's jersey today. He put in a really impressive ride in the time trial to finish fourth and just 28 seconds behind Roglic. Most impressively, he finished on the same time as Dumoulin and actually rode slightly faster than Dumoulin on the flat section. Lopez said ahead of the race that he would like to keep his TT loses to below a minute. 


The weather conditions are drastically improving and there is something approaching sunshine out there. It is enough for some riders to decide that they can take off a few layers. It's a bit like pass the parcel though, there are quite a few layers to get through. 


This is the breakaway from a little bit earlier today when the weather was a bit worse. 


115km remaining from 205km

EF Education First have one rider in the breakaway, but they also have a contender for the stage win in Sacha Modolo. However, the Italian spoke to Eurosport briefly and didn't sound too confident about his chances. He told them that his form has not been great, though a stage such as this would ordinarily suit him. Modolo called today's stage a 'strange' one, as it's not straight forward. 


The riders are approaching the feed zone and the halfway point of the stage. Halfway, I hear you say! Yes, they haven't even reached that point yet. The organisers really know how to punish the riders early on in the race. 


Lots of arm waving in the bunch, there is plenty of road furniture and potholes to navigate at the moment. 


The peloton is really pushing on at the moment and the gap is now just three minutes for the breakaway. A reminder that Ciccone started the day 1:28 behind Roglic so he remains the virtual race leader as things stand. 


While things settle down again, let's just look back again at yesterday's stage. A lot has been said about Roglic's dominant performance and what that says about his chances, but there were some poor performances that spelled bad news for a few. One of those was Mikel Landa, who lost over a minute to Roglic. The result leaves him with a lot to do over the next three weeks. Read what he had to say after his ride yesterday. 


It is still the same teams at the front of the peloton with Lotto Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe, Jumbo-Visma, UAE Team Emirates and Deceuninck-QuickStep. The rider for QuickStep is the young Mikkel Honore, who is making his Grand Tour debut. The Danish rider is just 22 but he is putting in an assured performance so far today. QuickStep have another debutant in James Knox, who is 23. 


Knox put in a good ride yesterday and was only 10 seconds behind his teammate Bob Jungels. He might be young, but he's got a pretty calm head on him and he'll be another interesting watch as the race develops over the next three weeks. 


The riders have picked up their goodies from the feedzone and are heading towards the two intermediate sprints. There are bonus seconds on offer, but they will be snapped up by the breakaway. 


More layers coming off as the weather gets warmer. It's not exactly summer conditions, but they don't want too many layers on when we get to the pointy end of things. Nobody wants to end up like Michael Rogers did during Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with one leg warmer on and one off. Though, I can only see one rider with leg warmers on at the moment. 


89km remaining from 205km

A lot of riders pulling over to the side of the road to have a comfort break. Manwhile, Ellia Viviani has dropped back to the team car to get his chain attended to.


Tom Dumoulin is dropping back to the car to leave some of his kit with the team car and have a quick chat. Dumoulin is another rider that had a disappointing day yesterday. He would have expected to be much closer to Roglic in the time trial. You can read what he had to say after yesterday's stage, here


86km remaining from 205km

All of this movement in the bunch as riders take off bits of unwanted kit, and whatnot, means that the gap to the leaders has expanded somewhat. The eight leaders have 3:36 over the peloton. 


Thomas De Gendt has moved to the front of the peloton for Lotto Soudal, taking over from Jelle Vanendert. De Gendt is riding all three of the Grand Tours this season after asking fans on Twitter if he should do it. We can expect De Gendt to be in several breakaways during this Giro, but today he is playing the support role for Caleb Ewan. 


Vanendert, with fewer layers, has now resumed his position near the front and De Gendt has dropped back. It looks like almost everybody is sorted and the pace is picking up again. 


Another picture from earlier on of Primoz Roglic resplendent in the pink jersey. 


76km remaining from 205km

Elia Viviani has been off the back of the peloton, for either a mechanical or a comfort break. His team is currently bringing him up the bunch as we close in on the intermediate sprint. There is still a long way to the finish, so there is no stress for the Italian champion. 


There is a bit of a contest in the breakaway for the intermediate sprint. Unsurprisingly, Frapporti is keen on it and he decides to try and go long. He gets it with Cima taking second. 


The peloton seems happy to hold the leaders at just under three minutes. They don't want to get too close or they risk others trying to go on the attack and burning off more energy than they need. 


Had the weather stayed as bad as it was earlier in the day, I would have given the breakaway a chance at holding off the peloton. Now that the road is dry, I think their chances have all but gone. You never know, but I would put money on the peloton catching the breakaway. 


A crash in the bunch and it looks like Boivin. 


Boivin is up and talking to the medical team, but he seems to be in quite a bit of pain. Nevertheless, he's back on his bike and he is riding quite slowly. 


Meanwhile, we now have lots of teams coming to the front such as Astana, Jumbo-Visma, Bahrain-Merida and Sunweb. There is a bit of wind around and the GC teams seem concerned about it. 


At the second intermediate sprint, Frapporti is caught on the hop by Cima, who goes early this time. Maestri is quick on his wheel and it is these two that fight it out for the top points. Cima should take the lead in the intermediate sprints competition - which is different to the points competition. 


55km remaining from 205km

The jostling in the peloton has had the added impact of bringing the gap to the leaders down. Bit by bit, they pull the eight escapees back towards them. As we approach the two climbs, the gap is just over two minutes. The sprinters are going to have to hang on tight if they want to take the win today. 


The rain has started to fall again and the wind seems to have picked up considerably. The rain is over the break, while the peloton is dry  for now. 


As I write, the rain begins to fall on the peloton. This could make the climbs a whole lot tricker.


In the bunch, Bahrain-Merida and Mitchelton-Scott are pushing on. They want to keep their leaders Nibali and Yates in the right position coming into these climbs. 


The first climb of the day is 5.7km with an average gradient of 6.8 per cent and a maximum of 13 per cent. It is already doing some damage to the breakaway as Ciccone pushes on. 


51km remaining from 205km

Just four riders left from the original eight out front, Ciccone, Bidard, Bennett and Owsian. Unsurprisingly, it is the WorldTour riders that are pushing on. 


Some big problems for Christian Knees. It looks like his electronic gears are stuck in a big gear and he's going nowhere fast. 


Bennett is the next to be dropped from the breakaway. And then there were three. A big headwind on the climb, this is brutal. 


Knees is back in the bunch with a new bike, while the gap to our three leaders sits at 2:13. 


Sam Oomen is up near the front for Team Sunweb. He was meant to be riding the Tour de France this year but got the call up after Wilco Kelderman was injured during the spring. 


A mechanical issue for Thomas De Gendt on the climb, but one of his teammates stops to help give him a wheel and he's quickly on his way. 


49km remaining from 205km

Up front, Sean Bennett looked like he might be about to get back to the three leaders but the road ramped up again and he was quickly distanced again. Ciccone is really driving on. He wants the KOM points at the top. 


Davide Formolo moves up to the front. He's keeping an eye on things for his teammates Majka and Ackermann. Formolo is in good form at the moment and finished second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege last month. 


Ciccone puts in a speculative move from the breakaway to test his companions. He still has just under two kilometres until he reaches the top of the climb, so it's a bit early to be attacking.


Will Clarke is brought back by the peloton, his job was done when they reached the bottom of the climb. It's all down to Ciccone to deliver now. One kilometre to the top of the climb. 


Owsian puts in a little dig but the other two are quickly on his wheel. It wasn't really a hard effort. 


47km remaining from 205km

Owsian goes again and he gets shut down again. The road has flattened out briefly, but it will head up again. This is a bit of a chess game and now Frapporti is coming back to them. 


With the sight of Frapporti, Ciccone strikes out and nobody can follow him. 


Ciccone didn't not want to risk it with Frapporti closing in on them. He easily dropped his companions and took the full nine points available at the top. Meanwhile, Cima is brought back by the peloton. 


Interestingly, there is a bit of a battle between the overall contenders to make it over the top of the climb. No points available for the bunch, but they want to be on the front for the descent. Bahrain-Merida were first over and are controlling things. Vincenzo Nibali is in third wheel at the moment. 


A day like today might not be a big one for the GC riders, but in a nervous first week with lots of twisting roads, wind and changeable conditions, it can be so easy to get involved in, or caught behind, a crash and lose a hatful of time. You have to be so attentive on days like today. 


There will be no respite for the riders at the bottom of this descent, as the second climb begins almost right away. From the top of that climb, there is just under 30 kilometres to the finish line. 


Bahrain-Merida are really putting the hammer down at the moment. The gap has come down to 1:23 and the breakaway's days are numbered. 


38km remaining from 205km

Some action from the bunch as Jan Bakelants goes on the attack and catches Sean Bennett. There is only one minute between the peloton and the four leaders. 


An interesting move from Sunweb to put a rider up the road, is Dumoulin planning something or do they think Bakelants has a chance of taking the stage?


Whatever the case is, they don't have very much of an advantage over the peloton. If they look over their shoulders, they will see the peloton right on their tails. 


Bakelants and Bennett have been brought back so we just have four riders up the road with a one-minute gap. Meanwhile, Deceuninck-QuickStep is leading the bunch. 


The riders are currently in Vinci, the home of Leonardo da Vinci. I once went to Vinci and it's so small we accidentally left it before we realised we'd been through it. It's a nice place with some good Da Vinci museums. 


The riders are plugging away on this second climb of the day. It's not as tough as the first and nobody seems to be in too much trouble on it. At the moment, it seems that all the sprinters have made it through. But, maybe I speak too soon. Let's see. 


It is dry out on course at the moment, but the rain is now falling at the finish. That could make for a very difficult finale if the roads are really wet. The white lines become like ice in those conditions. 


Jan Polanc is pushing the pace in the peloton for Fernando Gaviria. He's holding the leaders close at 56 seconds. 


And, suddenly, Polanc puts the hammer down as the road starts to descent. The gap has dropped to 44 seconds now. The peloton don't want to catch the leaders just yet, though. 


Still around three kilometres to the top of the climb for the leaders. They should make it to the top before the peloton catch them, but they might not hang out there for much longer afterwards if the peloton continues like this. 


And the peloton knocks off the pace, and the gap increases by a few seconds. It's all tranquilo at the moment. 


Another 1.5 kilometres to the top of this second climb and Ciccone ups the pace. He wants full points again. 


There has been a crash in the middle of the bunch. It looks like Sutterlin and Carretero have gone down. Sutterlin's helmet is off and it seems it might have come off in the crash. 


It looks like there was a touch of wheels and Sutterlin went face first into the ground. We might have our second abandon of the race, but we'll wait and see. No confirmation of that yet. 


Meanwhile, Ciccone takes the full points at the top of the climb again and their making their way down the descent now. The peloton has just crossed over and the chase is on again. 


On the descent, some riders have pulled out a gap on the peloton. It's a small gap though and it's unlikely to stick. 


22km remaining from 205km

This is a very fast descent and the leaders are not holding back. They have actually pulled out their lead slightly with Frapporti giving it beans right now. 


The gap is just 1:06, though, and these four will find it hard to keep the might of the sprint teams at bay. 


19km remaining from 205km

There are some gaps in the peloton after that descent and Team Sunweb is pushing it hard in the main peloton group. The gap to the leaders has come down to 35 seconds. 


The chasing peloton is almost back with the first peloton and the pace eases off slightly. It's not helping the leaders, who now only have 20 seconds. 


16km remaining from 205km

The breakaway is pushing hard, they're not ready to give it up yet. The gap goes back up to 25 seconds as Bora-Hansgrohe take up the pace setting. 


There is still one sizeable group that has not yet made it back to the peloton, around 30 seconds back. It doesn't look like any of the big names are in that group and we should have all the top sprinters fighting it out for victory at the finish line. 


Bora-Hansgrohe have the whole team at the front of the peloton and Ackermann is sitting at the back of the train. Ackermann has had a mixed spring but won in Frankfurt just before the Giro. 


10km remaining from 205km

The peloton has the breakaway in their sights now with just 10 seconds remaining. The impetus has going out of the riders in the break group. 


A puncture for Giacomo Nizzolo and that's going to make it hard for him to get back in for the sprint. Bad luck for the Italian. 


As the bunch strings out under the pressure from Bora-Hansgrohe, Astana are trying to move Miguel Angel Lopez up the bunch. The Colombian is right near the back at the moment. 


7km remaining from 205km

Another mechanical problem for Christian Knees and he's back with the car again. It has not been his day today. 


The breakaway has been brought back and for the first time since the start of the day it is gruppo compatto. 


For the first time today, Groupama-FDJ are making their way up the bunch. They have Arnaud Demare, who is looking for his first win of the season. 


4km remaining from 205km

The GC teams are sitting among the sprint teams. They will move off once they make it into the final three kilometres, but for now, they are staying up front to keep safe. 


Dimension Data have moved up towards the front with Gasparotto. They have a plan b in Ryan Gibbons after Nizzolo had a puncture. 


Gasparotto is really trying to string the peloton out. He wants to make it hard for the sprinters in this technical finale. 


We're into the final three kilometres now, and the GC teams have vanished from the front as expected.


2km remaining from 205km

Dimension Data still pushing on, but FDJ and Bora-Hansgrohe are moving up. 


A mechanical problem for Manuel Belletti and he looks really annoyed that he's lost his chance to sprint today. 


1km remaining from 205km

A lot of jostling, lots of teams interested in this finale. 


Bora-Hansgrohe lead the peloton under the flamme rouge


Crash. An FDJ rider went down


Looks like Demare is ok though


Loto Soudal lead this out


Ewan goes


Ackermann takes it!


Ewan started it, Ackermann took it up on the other side of the road. Viviani tried to follow the German, but he didn't have the pace to come around him in the end. 


Ackermann can hardly believe it. He's won on his Giro d'Italia debut. 


The top 10 shows that Viviani managed to take second and Ewan was third. Gaviria, who was sprinting in Ewan's wheel, could only manage fourth. 


Here is how it all looked at the finish. 


1 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:44:43
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick Step
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
4 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5 Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha-Alpecin
8 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
9 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
10 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe


Groupama-FDJ report that it was Olivier Le Gac that fell in the finale. It's hard to say how it happened but it looked like he may have clipped the barriers. No news on his condition yet. 


Movistar also reported that Jasha Sutterlin got back on his bike and continued. He's out on course at the moment. 


Some words from the winner Pascal Ackermann.


"I’m so happy. It was my first chance to win a stage and we did it great. I think that all the team is more motivated and it’s good for the next three weeks.

"We saw with 250 to go that none of the sprinters had started the sprint. I decided to take my speed and go full gas and luckily it was enough.

"For sure there was big pressure, but it is my first Grand Tour and you never know what will happen in your first Grand Tour. I’m happy to have won my first stage."



This shows Ackermann's disbelief after taking that stage win. He's had a bit of bad luck this spring, but that one went perfectly. 


It must be said that Primoz Roglic finished safely in the group and has kept hold of the maglia rosa for another day. 


With his stage win, Ackermann has moved into the lead of the points competition, while Ciccone keeps the mountains jersey and Lopez remains in the young rider's jersey. 


The good news is that Jasha Sutterlin finished the stage. He came across the line 11:51 behind Ackermann. However, it seems that Boivin may not have finished. He is not in the results at the moment but we await news from the team on his condition. 


For a recap of today's action, head to our stage report here.


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