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Kittel sprints to victory in wet 2nd Giro stage in Belfast, Matthews takes overall lead

Cyclists pedal at the start of the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Belfast to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)

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Cyclists pedal at the start of the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Belfast to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in a wet second stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday as Michael Matthews took the overall leader's pink jersey from Orica-GreenEdge teammate Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C.

Kittel timed his move to perfection to edge out Nacer Bouhanni and Giacomo Nizzolo in a bunch sprint at the end of the 218-kilometre leg, which started and ended in Belfast.

The German cyclist clocked a time of five hours, 13 minutes, 12 seconds to claim his first stage win on the day before his 26th birthday.

Despite the heavy rain, thousands of people lined the route which took in picturesque rock formation, the Giant's Causeway, as it wound down the coast.

Sunday's third stage is a 187-kilometre cross-border leg from Armagh to Dublin.

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