Cycling: Hammond sees off world champion

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The Independent Online

Britain's Roger Hammond beat the world champion Tom Boonen, of Belgium, in a thrilling sprint outside Liverpool Town Hall to claim the second stage of the Tour of Britain yesterday. Hammond was led out by his team of young riders from British Cycling's Olympic academy and surged for the line when Boonen was forced wide by a mistake from his Quick Step team-mate Filippo Pozzato on the final bend into Water Street.

Hammond has spent the last two seasons riding for Lance Armstrong's Discovery team. However, he said of his teenaged team-mates: "Those guys have produced a mega performance. They delivered me with 400 metres to go. I haven't been given that sort of service for the last two years."

The win lifted Hammond up to third overall - two minutes and 44 seconds behind the new leader, the South Australia.com-AIS rider Mat Goss, who edged two seconds in front of the previous wearer of the yellow jersey, Denmark's Martin Pedersen of CSC, thanks to time bonuses.

Sheffield's Russell Downing leads the points standings after finishing third yesterday, behind Skil-Shimano's Aart Vierhouten.

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