11th Tour Down Under - ProT
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, January 18-25, 2009
Results & report
Stage 2 - January 21: Hahndorf - Stirling, 145 km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Greg Johnson
Join us on Wednesday for Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under. The action begins at
11:00 local Australia time (CDT), 1:30 European time (CEST)/ 19:30 (USA East).
Guten Morgen, wie geht es Ihnen? (Good morning, how are you?). As the
more astute reader will have already guessed, we will be running a German theme
throughout today’s live coverage, as the second stage of Tour Down Under takes
us from then back through the German influenced suburb of Hahndorf.
Throughout today’s coverage we will be throwing out some German trivia questions
for you to answer, and I’ll even be taking a poll at some stage. So go grab
a wurst and an apple (we’re heading to Stirling, after all) and join in on today’s
action. Remember you can hurl your comments, requests, predictions, compliments
and even abuse at me via the firstname.lastname@example.org address throughout
The peloton is about to roll out of Hahndorf.
Julien El Fares (Cofidis)
Photo ©: Les Clarke
For those of you who haven’t already checked out First Edition Cycling News
today, I can confirm Robbie McEwen (Katusha) will be back in action on today’s
stage. The Queenslander coped a camera lens to the forearm in yesterday’s sprint
finish, which confirms my theory that just because you can afford a 400 mm lens,
doesn’t mean you should be allowed to use one.
Anyway, I saw McEwen in the lift this morning coming back from breakfast and
he was happily chewing down some cake while talking to the Katusha boys. He
did however have a bandage on his arm still, which had a pretty clear lump in
While we’re on the topic of the lift, I’d just like to clear something up. No,
I don’t stalk people in the lifts each morning and no, I’m not a concierge,
as some of you have kindly suggested. I’m still trying to figure out if that
person was just joking, or telling me I’d be better at being a concierge. The
mystery of life.
A group of about 15 riders has moved ahead of the peloton. They're sitting just
100 metres down the road for now, so we won't go too far and call it an attack
11:07 CST 4km/141km to go
Seems like a wise choice on my part, four kilometres into the stage and everyone's
back together. We should see some riders get away soon, the first sprint will
pop up pretty quickly this morning.
11:10 CST 6km/139km to go
The race is reportedly flying along, but so far there hasn't been a group able
to snap off the front.
McEwen told the crowd at today's start that it would have taken a broken arm
to stop him from coming out today. "Unless it was actually snapped in half I
was always going to start today. I think I’ll be able to get through, it’s just
obviously not ideal.
"[To spectators:] Please keep them [cameras] inside the barriers. Maybe some
people aren’t experienced at bikes races and don’t realise how fast we’re actually
coming and the damage that can be done," he added.
There's been a few riders get away from the peloton, but the largest gap has
been 50 metres. Any attempt is being shut down quickly.
11:14 CST 9km/136km to go
We've finally got a group away - its Guillaume Blot (Cofidis), Markel Irizar
(Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Aarond Kemps (UniSA).
Many are predicting that today will be one of the two main stages to shape this
year’s race. Starting from Hahndorf, the race heads north for a lap through
Woodside, Charleston, Lobethal, and climbs to Lenswood – the steepest climb
of the day and also the day’s only King of the Mountains spot - before heading
back to Woodside and through Hahndorf once more (which is home to the world’s
best pie shop, according to…well…me).
Form there the race continues south to the outskirts of Echunga, where the peloton
will turn towards Stirling. This is where riders are expecting the legs will
be challenged, with three and a half laps of a loop around Mylor, Aldgate and
Stirling, where the race will wrap up for the day.
I mentioned earlier that today’s only KOM will come early in the event, at kilometre
34.5. Before that riders will take on the first sprint at kilometre 16.7 in
Charleston, with the second not until the race heads back towards Hahndorf at
kilometre 54.8. From there it will be all about racing to the finish, with the
feed zone coming at kilometre 83.7.
11:18 CST 11km/134km to go
The leaders - Guillaume Blot (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and
Aarond Kemps (UniSA) - have pulled out about a minute over the peloton so far.
These guys should be able to hold out for the first sprint at least, we'll see
how kind the peloton is feeling after that.
The race doctor has been called fro West Australian Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream).
We will try and get some more information on this as the race goes on.
Roger is feeling the German theme we're setting up for today, he's suggested
we created a 'wurst' young rider category. Wursts are already going to be the
theme of one of my polls today, but I like the idea anyway!
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Chipotle) has returned to the peloton safely now, so all
is okay for the youngster.
We spoke to Meyer's teammate Tim Duggan at the start today. The pair look very
similar to one another, but I'm pretty sure it was Tim that said: "We checked
the course out the other day and it’s tough. It’s just going to be a selection
and it’ll get harder every lap. We’ll see if Julian can hang in there, and Ryder’s
also going well for general classification. Those two guys will be keeping their
heads up and looking out for any big move that might go early in the race. It’ll
be a tough one for Columbia to control today; it’ll be one of the harder ones
of the tour for sure."
11:24 CST 15km/130km to go
The three leader's gap continues to expand, with the trio now having a buffer
of more than three minutes. It will be up to them to decide who takes what points/bonuses/prize
money at the upcoming sprint.
Christian Knees (Team Milram) has swapped bikes about two kilometres out from
the sprint and is now chasing back to the peloton.
11:28 CST 16.7km/128.3km to go
Aaron Kemps (UniSA) has won today's first sprint from Guillaume Blot (Cofidis)
and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
I’m going to kick off the trivia now – the majority are cycling related question,
but we’re also covering a few other topics from other sports and also historical.
Answers will be posted below the ‘race situation’ later in the day, so write
down you answers and see how you go. We’re starting nice and easy, what is race
leader Andre Greipel’s birth town? And also, where does he now reside?
Wow, Andrea Gripel's ears must have been burning. He just shot out of the peloton
with Columbia teammate Bernhard Eisel.
The Columbia duo were too big a threat for the peloton, which has brought them
back in. It's a good indicator that the squad is racing for a general classification
win this week and testing what it can get away with. Unfortunately with with
two Tour de France winners in the field, I doubt anyone's going to let the race
leader break away with someone like Eisel at his side.
Weather was always going to be a factor in today’s stage. Riders know that it’s
a loaded course, and had the weather been as brutal as in days gone by that
loaded gun would have been fired in a very big way. Fortunately, however, for
the riders temperatures in Adelaide have backed off a little today. That’s not
to say it’s going to be a cool day – while it’s 22 degrees with a light breeze
this morning, temperatures are expected to break into the low 30s by the time
riders reach the closing circuit.
As feeding from the team cars commences, one thing many of you will be interested
in (and others will tear strips off me for) is that today could be Lance Armstrong’s
day. I’m not making any bold predictions about the seven time Tour de France
winner, but the American himself outlined today’s stage and Saturday’s Willunga
stage as those he’d have a crack on, if he’s up to it. So watch this space.
Team Columbia has taken to the head of the peloton and is driving down the leader's
gap. Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
have been brought back to 4.30 minutes and closing.
Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Les Clarke
For those of you who like to keep an eye on the sky, the temperature in Adelaide
has lifted to 24.4 degrees but humidity is down on yesterday - currently sitting
Here's another trivia question for y'all, which German band produced the album
‘Tour de France’?
Columbia-High Road has put Bernhard Eisel on the front as their engine to bring
the race back together. He doesn't quiet fit in my German theme, but Austria
is pretty close! Anyway, Eisel's doing some good work as the gap is down to
The gap is continuing to fall with Columbia's hard work as the leaders reach
two kilometres from the KOM.
We're just waiting on official results from the first KOM climb...we'll be with
you shortly (I'm practicing my Telstra voice, what do you think?)
Aaron Kemps (UniSA) has suffered a mechanical issue after the KOM (which we're
still awaiting results for) and is being serviced. The rider could have a hard
time getting back to the leaders if the peloton has managed to continue closing
in on the three up the climb.
Aaron Kemps (UniSA) has managed to get back to the lead group. Pablo Urtasun
(Euskaltel-Euskadi) is leading the peloton.
Okay, okay, okay - so it seems the last trivia question was too easy. How about
this then, who was the captain of the West German football team that won the
1974 World Cup?
Everyone wanted to get a photo
Photo ©: Les Clarke
KOM results are in...drum roll please: Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Guillaume
Blot (Cofidis) and Aaron Kemps (UniSA) took the top three spots in the lead
group. Euskaltel-Euskadi rounded out the top five with Andoni Lafuente and Aitor
To Tim - no I don't live in that lift. Although, my apartment isn't much bigger.
You will all be pleased to know that I've had a call from my boss in the United
Kingdom and he's decided concierge would be a good addition to my job title.
Me and my big mouth...
As the second sprint nears Bernhard Eisel (Columbia) is continuing to lead the
peloton. One interesting little movement in the peloton is some Kazakh team
called Astana. Five of the squad's riders have moved to the head of the peloton
behind Eisel...it could be Lance time!
I caught up with Allan Davis (Quick Step) in the foyer yesterday. In reference
to today’s stage, he noted: “I reckon it’s going to be tougher than everyone
thinks”. Davis also thanked Mark from yesterday’s live coverage, asking if he
looked good in blue and white, although he also joked: “I’m not sure that whether
I do or not makes me any faster”.
The three leaders Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar
(Euskaltel-Euskadi) have now pulled the gap out a little, with it sitting at
The first three riders have passed through the day's second sprint. We're just
waiting for the official results now. The main peloton is still two kilometres
away from the sprint point, but is still together with Eisel still controlling
The crowd was huge at the start
Photo ©: Les Clarke
Hilton Clarke (Fuji-Servetto) said he felt a little uncomfortable after yesterday’s
stage, and that the rest of his event will be up to his legs. “I guess it just
depends on my legs. Yesterday I guess I just didn’t have a comfortable day and
it was an easier day [on paper]. As the tour goes on, each day is different
and I’ll just evaluate each day as the race goes on. Normally I’ve had some
success around here with the finishes in Hahndorf. I’m just looking for some
moves and aim to conserve. We’ll see.”
The peloton has just passed the sprint at Ballhannah - 4.30 minutes behind the
leaders. With everyone now on their way back towards Hahndorf, here's the poll
question. What is your favourite wurst?
Results from the second sprint are in - Aaron Kemps (UniSA) has taken the pints
again from Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Over breakfast Mike Tomalaris, a local television personality with SBS Television),
nominated a few people for today’s win. He eventually settled on Stuart O’Grady
(Saxo Bank) for today’s win. Now, I’m not one to back a rider, because I know
in this sport it’s a mug’s game, but I think Tomo could be on the money with
O’Grady’s in good condition – something he proved yesterday – and could go the
distance today. I think the real question is, is O’Grady searching for a stage
win or to add another Tour Down Under crown to his collection?
David Moncoutié (Cofidis)
Photo ©: Les Clarke
12:37 CST 59km/86km to go
The peloton has been pushing forward, while one of the photographer motorbikes
has been jamming the radio network. The gap has dropped down to 3.50 minutes
as the peloton gets closer to Hahndorf.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) has dropped back to visit the race doctor.
12:43 CST 62km/83km to go
The gap between the peloton and leaders - Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot
(Cofidis) and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - is sitting steady again at
four minutes. Eisel and Astana are still looking after matters at the head of
After earning a ride in the UniSA team with a strong performance at the Australian
National Titles earlier this month, Matt Wilson is feeling good. "The last year
and a half I’ve lost some weight and I’m climbing a lot better. This stage suits
me a lot more than yesterday. This week I’d ideally love to win a stage – a
top ten overall would be great. Now Cookie’s in a good position if we can get
him into a good position that’d be fantastic."
You'll also notice I've dropped in some images from the start of today's stage,
if you go back through the live report. I guess I have the motorbike guy whose
sitting on his radio to thank for that...it would be nice if he'd get off it
It seems the recent questions have been a little too easy, so how about this
one: For which German team did Mark Cavendish and Darren Lapthorne ride?
12:50 CST 68km/77km to go
Race leaders - Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar
(Euskaltel-Euskadi) - have been brought back to 3.15 minutes as the peloton
exits Hanhdorf and is headed in Echunga's direction.
The peloton looks as if it's going to slowly draw the trio in ready to attack
them at the base of the first climb into Stirling. The upcoming small descent
should help the trio keep at bay, but how long they last when the first climb
comes remains to be seen.
Just updating and correcting my previous time gap, it's now at 3.25 MINUTES
not seconds. Perhaps I've had too many Mahr's Ungespundet Lagers today, must
be time for a German Brezel.
I hate to bring the lift up again, but I think I may as well go sit in it. Seems
they're still having radio problems out on the course as it's gone quiet. Oddly
enough, ever since the race went through Hahndorf the officials have been a
little quiet...maybe they stopped off to pick up some wursts too!
13:03 CST 76km/69km to go
Word of the devil, the gap is sitting still again around the 3.30 minute mark.
The leaders are at the base of the descent now, and are starting to kick up
towards the first climb.
Oh, and they're back from the pub, as Julien Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) attacks
the peloton down the descent. The Kiwi has pulled out 300 metres over the peloton.
Dean is making some good progress. The former New Zealand national champion
is now 2.55 minutes behind the leaders and 35 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Dean's a comin' boys. The New Zealander is 1.40 seconds behind the leaders now.
Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
are not exactly working together to hold out for a win at the moment. While
the trio haven't sat up as such, they're allowing Dean to catch them - with
the rider now at 1.10 minutes - and will probably not work with him if he's
keen to continue the attack.
Given Dean's attack now seems a good time to give Greg Henderson a shout out.
I had a shock when he wrote in - I thought he must have been keeping up with
other people's tactics via our feed - but it turns out it's Greg Henderson the
McEwen is riding safely back in the pack today. While he made it to the start
the rider is unlikely to be lining up for the sprint, should today's stage end
that way. He was expecting to have difficulty getting a solid grip on the 'bars.
13:25 CST 87km/58km to go
Dean has closed the gap to 40 seconds now, while the peloton is sitting at 3
minutes from leaders Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis) and Markel
Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) .
Wow, I wonder how NZTelecom is going at the moment - I think we just received
an e-mail from every public servant in the nation! It almost outweighs the number
of e-mails from people in similar positions within Australia we've had today.
A big hello to all our friends within Australian Customs, all of which I should
know by first name now.
Those people will be glad Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) is now just 18 seconds
behind the lead group.
Lets slip in another triva question which Dean gets the job done. How many Germans
have won the Tour de France and who was/were it/they?
13:31 CST 95km/50km to go
Well, that didn't take long, Dean has now caught Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Guillaume
Blot (Cofidis) and Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) to make a group of four
out front with 50 kilometres remaining.
Thanks to Chris (another Aussie public servant, mind you) for his e-mail in
German. Perhaps you could translate it for me too? Just because I drink the
beer and eat the pretzels doesn't actually mean I can speak the language! I
know, if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it probably is. But I'm
The peloton has stepped up the pace on news of Dean's arrival in the lead group.
It has taken 20 seconds out of the leaders.
Columbia's hard man Eisel clearly hasn't had a chance to share in the spoils
of his neighboring country today. This fella's still on the front of the peloton,
and has been for 50 kilometres.
The peloton is continuing to reel in the leaders. The time gap has dropped another
15 seconds to 2.30 minutes.
The race is entering its second lap of the closing circuit, so it will be interesting
to see how they play out the race. It could be they will control the time gap
and bring it to a sprint finish again, but I get the feeling there's some riders
out the going for a W today, and will break it apart on the third of three and
a half laps.
I don't usually make predictions, so lets hope they don't make me look like
13:42 CST 100km/45km to go
The peloton is closing in faster now, another 30 seconds has gone in the time
it took them to take 15 last time.
Just for the record I've discovered another 10 Aussie Customs employees since
my last shout out. I guess I was wrong, I haven't met them all yet!
A Fuji-Servetto rider has attacked the peloton entering the second lap of the
closing circuit, at the start of the climb.
The rider's attack has put the pressure on the peloton, and riders are starting
to hurt. The peloton is barely holding together and I think the boys are going
to do me proud - a bunch kick is looking increasingly unlikely today.
Eisel was doing it easy for Columbia at the head of the peloton, but after 50
kilometres of dedication he's pulled off the front. The Austrian is on the verge
of blowing up if my reports are correct.
A solid effort there from Eisel - obviously a team player for Columbia's cause.
The day is also coming to an end for our break away leaders. Aaron Kemps (UniSA),
Guillaume Blot (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and Julian Dean
(Garmin-Slipstream) have just 150 metres over the peloton now.
It looks as though the peloton will be all together as it reaches the highest
part of the second lap.
Française des Jeux rider Jeremy Roy has attacked the peloton and crossed to
the leading four. He will surely be the first of many, with the outcome the
closure of the leading group.
There's been a small crash in the peloton with a Fuji-Servetto, Française des
Jeux, UniSA and Euskaltel-Euskadi rider going down.
I must give another shout out to photographer motorbike three, who is sitting
on his radio...again! Guess who I'm not buying a beer for tonight.
A group of 15 riders has gone clear of the peloton. We're just picking up all
their jersey numbers now.
The riders have been caught before we could get them all, but a UniSA rider
has counter-attacked. It feels like something's heatin' up (can anyone else
believe I'm quoting a Justin Timberlake song? I wish I was drunk...)
Oh dear, it's Armstrong, Lance has hit the gas. Guess who's back people.
Lance Armstrong wrote on Twitter today that Jack Bobridge is the next big thing,
now he's broken away with the UniSA rider!
Wouldn't it be great to see the pair bring it home (and Bobridge out-sprint
a seven time Tour de France winner). Okay, I know I'm dreaming, but it would
...and short lived. Lance Armstrong (Astana) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA) have
been caught by the peloton.
Lance has tested his legs...seems they're working fine. I wonder what his next
move is going to be.
William Walker (Fuji-Servetto) has re-joined the peloton after being caught
in the crash earlier.
14:05 CST 116km/29km to go
The peloton is watching one another closely but is all together as the descent
starts. We've got another one and a half laps on the circuit, which means two
climbs up the Stirling climb. I'm thinking we will see another flurry on the
next lap, which will cool off like it has now, before busting apart on the final
The most asked question today has been how I am covering the race. Former Cyclingnews.com
reporter Jeff Jones - who now works on sister website Bikeradar.com - revealed
that he did the live coverages from the Cyclingnews.com blimp.
Since then we've had many questions about said blimp. I can today - for the
first time - announce that...my lips are sealed. I hope you're enjoying the
Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto), Francesco Reda (Quick Step) and Scott Davis (UniSA)
have attacked the peloton and have gained a 200 metre advantage.
Michael Rogers (Columbia) has taken over working at the front of the peloton,
after teammate Eisel's 50 kilometre drive came to an end.
Australian Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and Scott Davis (UniSA) are pushing
the break away with Francesco Reda (Quick Step) sitting on at the back.
14:17 CST 125km/20km to go
The leading trio had pulled its gap out to 25 seconds, but is struggling to
gain any more time.
Just a bit of a race update: There's currently three riders away - Matthew Lloyd
(Silence-Lotto), Francesco Reda (Quick Step) and Scott Davis (UniSA) - with
a 33 second advantage over the peloton. Mark Renshaw (Columbia) has control
of the peloton and while some are struggling towards the rear of the peloton,
it is still together. Nobody has been dropped, or withdrawn to date.
I've also added the trivia answers below the 'current position' box, so you
can check how you went. To 'B' who clearly doesn't like my commentating style,
I can't please everyone it seems!
Tom Stubbe (Silence-Lotto), Christian Meier (Garmin - Slipstream) and Daniele
Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) have attacked the peloton.
Française des Jeux's Wesley Sulzberger said before today's race: "Last year
I got away in the stage down to Victor Harbor and it nearly paid off – they
caught me with two k to go. Today’s going to be interesting to see who takes
charge. Caisse d’Epargne are going to be pretty strong, and of course Astana.
I’ll be hopefully trying to slip into a break along the way."
Tom Stubbe (Silence-Lotto), Christian Meier (Garmin - Slipstream) and Daniele
Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) have been caught by the peloton, and Scott Davis (UniSA)
has also dropped back to the main bunch. Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and Francesco
Reda (Quick Step) have just 50 metres on the peloton.
Aaron Kemps (UniSA) has been announced as the day's most aggressive rider.
Alexandr Pliuschin (Ag2r) has attacked the peloton and joined the two leaders,
12 seconds ahead.
14:36 CST 135km/10km to go
Katusha has instructed five of its riders to drive at the front of the peloton,
taking over from Columbia, as the race enters its final 10 kilometres.
Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram) has attacked the peloton and is making up time
on the lead group.
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has followed that move. I doubt the peloton will let
the French team leader get away.
The lead group now consists of Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram), David Moncoutie
(Cofidis), Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto), Alexandr Pliuschin (Ag2r) and Francesco
Reda (Quick Step).
The lead group has been caught by the peloton, just as David Moncoutie (Cofidis)
attacked them. Moncoutie is getting away from the peloton.
14:43 CST 141km/4km to go
Team Columbia has put its men back on the front. They are clearly worried about
David Moncoutie (Cofidis).
There's a flurry of attacks now.
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) is alone in front with the peloton just 50 metres
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) looks doomed. We're gearing up for a sprint here.
Quick Step has joined Columbia at the front. David Moncoutie (Cofidis) is almost
14:47 CST 144km/1km to go
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has been caught with one kilometre to go.
We're going for a sprint finish, with both Columbia and Quick Step at the front.
UniSA has moved to the front of the peloton too. It missed the win yesterday,
can it take a win today.
Caisse d'Epargne has launched an attack inside the final kilometre, they want
to run away with it.
Eight riders have broken away from the peloton.
They're coming in now. Columbia looks like they've got it.
No wait down the outside, QuickStep is coming. They're going to take it.
Allan Davis (Quick Step) has taken the stage victory.
Rabobank's Graeme Brown has taken second.
2007 race winner Martin Elmiger (Ag2R) has taken out third spot, with Stuart
O'Grady (Saxo Bank) in fourth.
George Hincapie (Team Columbia) has rounded out the top five places on today's
Robbie McEwen (Katusha) did his best to be a part of the final sprint, but looked
to be in pain as he crossed the line.
McEwen was able to make the final eight riders to contest the sprint, with the
remainder of the peloton trickling in behind.
We don't yet have an official finishing position for Lance Armstrong (Astana),
but we believe his was back in the peloton.
Allan Davis said after his win: "I'm very happy, it was a tough rider but my
team did an awesome job."
Official crowd figures just released say 90,000 people were on hand to watch
today's 145 kilometre stage.
- 1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step
- 2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
- 3 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R
- 4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Saxo Bank
- 5 George Hincapie (USA) Columbia
- What is Andre Greipel's birth place, home town: Rostock, Kritzmow
- Which German band produced the album ‘Tour de France’: Kraftwerk
- Who was the captain of the West German football team that won the 1974 World
Cup: Franz Beckenbauer
- For which German team did Mark Cavendish and Darren Lapthorne ride: Team
- How many Germans have won the Tour de France and who were they: One, Jan
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