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Australia?s Robbie McEwen of the Predictor team is the first leader of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race after winning the first stage in Civitavecchia on Wednesday.

The 34 year-old from Brisbane has been out of action for almost a month with bronchitis but outfoxed the other sprinters by diving through a chicane, 300 metres from the finish to open a decisive gap that allowed him to cruise to victory with his arms in the air.

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