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Tour of Croatia: Ruffoni takes stage 4

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Nicola Ruffoni sprinted to victory in stage 4 of the Tour of Croatia.

Nicola Ruffoni sprinted to victory in stage 4 of the Tour of Croatia. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nicola Ruffoni atop the stage 3 podium at the Tour of Croatia

Nicola Ruffoni atop the stage 3 podium at the Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Another day, another stage victory for Nicola Ruffoni at the Tour of Croatia

Another day, another stage victory for Nicola Ruffoni at the Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali leads the Tour of Croatia after stage 4.

Vincenzo Nibali leads the Tour of Croatia after stage 4. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nicola Ruffoni celebrating his stage 4 win at the Tour of Croatia

Nicola Ruffoni celebrating his stage 4 win at the Tour of Croatia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Like the stage before it, stage 4 of the Tour of Croatia gave the peloton plenty of scenery to enjoy along the road to the finish.

Like the stage before it, stage 4 of the Tour of Croatia gave the peloton plenty of scenery to enjoy along the road to the finish. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Nicola Ruffoni took his second stage win in as many days Friday at the Tour of Croatia.

The Bardiani CSF rider sprinted to victory in Umag ahead of Riccardo Minali (Astana) and Ivan Savitskiy (Gazprom-Rusvelo), denying a stubborn break in the final moments of the day. Early escapee Alan Marangoni (Nippo-Vini Fantini) held out until the last 100 metres, but was caught and passed by the fast finishers just before the line.

In the battle for the overall title, Caja Rural's Jaime Roson found himself on the wrong side of a small split during the sprint, allowing Astana's Vinceno Nibali to leapfrog him on GC and take over control of the leader's jersey. Coming into the day five seconds down, the Italian now leads the Spaniard by two seconds.

A day after his Bardiani squad delivered him perfectly for a bunch sprint victory, Ruffoni again attributed the stage win to his teammates following Friday's more hectic finale.

"The most uncertain moment during the race was at five kilometres to the finish. Narrow and tricky roads, the breakaway one minute in front of us but no chance to see them. On the long straight at four kilometres to go we put the escapees in our sights but the catch seemed hard," he said. "[Mirco] Maestri did a strong effort leading with other sprinters' team. I relied on [Nicola] Boem and [Paolo] Simion for the sprint and they did again an amazing job. Nicola kept us in front while Paolo was great driving me in the bagarre of the last kilometre."

Marangoni, Johannes Schinnagel (Team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels), Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy) and Antonio Di Sante (GM Europa Ovini) jumped clear of the peloton around 20 kilometres after the pack set out from Crikvenica for the 171km stage 4. The escapees were given a bit of space, with a gap growing out to around four minutes. With a flat finish on tap, however, several teams were interested in keeping the move under control to set up a potential sprint finish.

With Roson wearing the leader's jersey, Caja Rural did much of the early pace-setting to keep the gap to the break steady at or around four minutes for an hour or so.

With around 40 kilometres to go, the peloton began to eat into the breakers' advantage, with Trek-Segafredo, Bahrain-Merida, Bardiani CSF and Astana pitching in at the front. The four riders up the road worked well together, but the gap was down to two minutes with 25 kilometres left to race.

The breakers took a little over a minute into the final 15 kilometres, but then the chase stalled ever so slightly, giving the quartet off the front a bit of hope at staying clear all the way to the line. With the gap at 25 seconds at five kilometres to go, it was still anyone's game.

The difference was just 10 seconds with two kilometres to go, which spurred Marangoni to push clear from the break and attempt a solo victory. The other three were caught, but Marangoni passed under the flamme rouge banner still clinging to a small gap.

A charging peloton would not be denied, however. Winding up to full speed, the sprinters rapidly closed down Marangoni's small advantage on the finishing straight. Ruffoni led the charge as the quick men swallowed up Marangoni in the final moments of the stage, and the Bardiani rider held on ahead of the other sprinters to cross the line first for the second day in a row.

"I'm not a sprinter who likes long progression and I knew could be a risk," said Ruffoni of leading the sprint from 250 metres out. "The road was going little downhill in the finale, Marangoni was still on the front but I was sure I could catch him. On the other side, I was worried for riders behind me and their return. Well, today I've been rewarded for my audacity … if you want to win a sprint, you need this as well."

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF4:10:15
2Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
3Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
4Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
5Dusan Rajovic (Srb) Adria Mobil
6Alan Marangoni (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
7Daniel Auer (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
8Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek - Segafredo
9Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini
10Gasper Katrasnik (Slo) Adria Mobil
11Lukas Jaun (Swi) Roth - Akros
12Dylan Page (Swi) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
13Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
14Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
15Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
16Ivan Balykin (Rus) Torku Sekerspor
17Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team
18Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida
19Jason Lowndes (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
20Andrea Borso (Ita) Adria Mobil
21Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
22Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek - Segafredo
23Roland Thalmann (Swi) Roth - Akros
24Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain - Merida
25Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
26Colin Chris St¸ssi (Swi) Roth - Akros
27Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
28Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
29Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
30Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
31Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
32Oscar Sanchez Guarin (Col) Bicicletas Strongman
33José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
34Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:07
35Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
36Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) Roth - Akros
37Oleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
38Antonio Di Sante (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
39Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
40Felix Grossschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
41Markus Eibegger (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
42Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
43Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
44Luca Chirico (Ita) Torku Sekerspor
45Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
46Jonathan Martinez Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
47Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
48Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
49Jonathan Caicedo Cepeda (Ecu) Bicicletas Strongman
50Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
51Ahmet Akdilek (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
52Daniel Andres Rozo Velez (Col) Bicicletas Strongman
53Gorazd Per (Slo) Adria Mobil
54Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF
55Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
56Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
57Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain - Merida
58Nathan Draper (GBr) Team Wiggins
59Francesco Canepa (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
60Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
61Michael Thompson (GBr) Team Wiggins
62Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team
63Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Adria Mobil
64Matthias Reutimann (Swi) Roth - Akros
65Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team
66James Knox (GBr) Team Wiggins
67Jure Golcer (Slo) Adria Mobil
68Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
69Leonardo Canepa (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
70Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil
71Mateo Frankovic (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team
72Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro Team
73Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
74Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
75Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
76Johannes Schinnagel (Ger) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
77Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
78Michal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
79Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
80Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF
81Yuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
82Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
83Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
84Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek - Segafredo
85Uros Repse (Slo) Meridiana Kamen Team
86Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
87Aristobulo Cala Cala (Col) Bicicletas Strongman
88David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
89Pirmin Lang (Swi) Roth - Akros
90Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
91Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
92Llibert Sendros Juve (Spa) Kolss Cycling Team
93Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek - Segafredo
94Roy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
95Kazushige Kuboki (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
96Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Bahrain - Merida
97Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida
98Michael O'Loughlin (Irl) Team Wiggins
99Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain - Merida
100Stephan Rabitsch (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
101Andrea Guardini (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
102Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk
103Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
104Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
105Damian Lüscher (Swi) Roth - Akros
106Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
107Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:00:22
108Feritcan Samli (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
109Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
110Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
111Ziga Groselj (Slo) Adria Mobil
112Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
113Etienne Georgi (GBr) Team Wiggins
114Valentin Baillifard (Swi) Roth - Akros
115Gianfranco Raffaele Visconti (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team
116Ashley Dennis (GBr) Team Wiggins
117Andrii Bratashchuk (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
118Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
119Luis Enrique Lemus Davila (Mex) Israel Cycling Academy
120Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain - Merida
121Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:00:33
122Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek - Segafredo
123Marco Tizza (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:00:35
124Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
125Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:00:41
126Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
127Juan Tamayo Martinez (Col) Bicicletas Strongman0:00:47
128Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF
129Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek - Segafredo
130Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:00:54
131Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:01:02
132Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:11
133Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:01:16
134Samuel Harrison (GBr) Team Wiggins
135Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:01:42
136Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek - Segafredo0:03:49
137David Jabuka (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team0:04:50
138Antonio Parrinello (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:07:16
139Justin Oien (USA) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
140Adriano Brogi (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
141Davide Pacchiardo (Ita) GM Europa Ovini
142Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:07:50
143Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA
DNFCarlos Becerra Alarcon (Col) Bicicletas Strongman
DNSKristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates

General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida18:13:38
2Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:00:02
3Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:11
4Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain - Merida0:00:15
5Felix Grossschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:17
6Oscar Sanchez Guarin (Col) Bicicletas Strongman0:00:27
7Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:00:29
8James Knox (GBr) Team Wiggins0:00:34
9Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10Michal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
11Jonathan Martinez Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:00:42
12Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil0:00:45
13Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
14Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
15Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:52
16Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:01:02
17Roland Thalmann (Swi) Roth - Akros
18Matija Kvasina (Cro) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels0:01:09
19Jonathan Caicedo Cepeda (Ecu) Bicicletas Strongman
20Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
21Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF
22Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
23Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
24Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:01:20
25Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) Roth - Akros0:01:39
26José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:40
27Jure Golcer (Slo) Adria Mobil0:01:47
28Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:49
29Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek - Segafredo0:01:57
30Colin Chris St¸ssi (Swi) Roth - Akros0:02:11
31Emanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team0:02:14
32Markus Eibegger (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
33Daniel Andres Rozo Velez (Col) Bicicletas Strongman0:02:18
34Andriy Vasylyuk (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team
35Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy0:02:59
36Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek - Segafredo0:03:11
37Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team0:03:14
38Antonio Di Sante (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:03:16
39Llibert Sendros Juve (Spa) Kolss Cycling Team
40Stephan Rabitsch (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels0:03:18
41Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:03:31
42Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels0:03:32
43Valentin Baillifard (Swi) Roth - Akros0:03:43
44Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:03:52
45Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:04:10
46Michael O'Loughlin (Irl) Team Wiggins0:04:12
47Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor0:04:13
48Luca Chirico (Ita) Torku Sekerspor
49Damian Lüscher (Swi) Roth - Akros
50Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida
51Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Bahrain - Merida
52Luis Enrique Lemus Davila (Mex) Israel Cycling Academy0:04:50
53Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:05:05
54Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:05:29
55Aristobulo Cala Cala (Col) Bicicletas Strongman0:05:43
56David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk0:05:46
57Andrii Bratashchuk (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:06:01
58Mateo Frankovic (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team0:06:09
59Mykhaylo Kononenko (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:06:12
60Mustafa Sayar (Tur) Torku Sekerspor0:06:29
61Marco Tizza (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:06:30
62Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:06:34
63Oleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:06:45
64Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team0:07:41
65Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:08:06
66Leonardo Canepa (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:08:18
67Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:08:21
68Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk0:08:49
69Yuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
70Ziga Groselj (Slo) Adria Mobil0:09:19
71Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek - Segafredo0:09:38
72Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:09:40
73Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:09:44
74Johannes Schinnagel (Ger) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels0:09:49
75Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk0:09:51
76Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
77Michael Thompson (GBr) Team Wiggins
78Roy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
79Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
80Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
81Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF
82Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:10:19
83Uros Repse (Slo) Meridiana Kamen Team0:10:20
84Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek - Segafredo0:10:31
85Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy0:10:55
86Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek - Segafredo0:11:00
87Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:11:16
88Francesco Canepa (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:12:23
89Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo
90Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
91Ashley Dennis (GBr) Team Wiggins0:12:38
92Etienne Georgi (GBr) Team Wiggins
93Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:12:49
94Gasper Katrasnik (Slo) Adria Mobil0:13:01
95Lukas Jaun (Swi) Roth - Akros
96Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:13:08
97Nathan Draper (GBr) Team Wiggins
98Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
99Matthias Reutimann (Swi) Roth - Akros
100Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain - Merida
101Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:13:23
102Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek - Segafredo0:13:29
103Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:13:59
104Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:14:17
105Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:14:24
106Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:14:26
107Dylan Page (Swi) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:14:37
108Dusan Rajovic (Srb) Adria Mobil
109Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
110Daniel Auer (Aut) Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels
111Jason Lowndes (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
112Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
113Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek - Segafredo
114Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
115Ivan Balykin (Rus) Torku Sekerspor
116Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
117Gorazd Per (Slo) Adria Mobil0:14:44
118Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro Team
119Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:14:55
120Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk0:14:57
121Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:15:24
122Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Adria Mobil0:15:40
123Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:15:49
124Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukr) Kolss Cycling Team0:15:55
125Gianfranco Raffaele Visconti (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team
126Davide Pacchiardo (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:16:04
127Samuel Harrison (GBr) Team Wiggins0:16:47
128Andrea Borso (Ita) Adria Mobil0:16:50
129Alan Marangoni (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:16:57
130Antonio Parrinello (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:17:00
131David Jabuka (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team0:17:06
132Pirmin Lang (Swi) Roth - Akros0:17:14
133Andrea Guardini (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:17:16
134Kazushige Kuboki (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
135Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk0:17:31
136Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:17:34
137Ahmet Akdilek (Tur) Torku Sekerspor0:17:45
138Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo0:18:00
139Juan Tamayo Martinez (Col) Bicicletas Strongman0:18:39
140Adriano Brogi (Ita) GM Europa Ovini0:21:07
141Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:22:27
142Feritcan Samli (Tur) Torku Sekerspor0:23:28
143Justin Oien (USA) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:25:25

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