Germany's Marcel Kittel has taken his second successive stage victory of the 2014 Giro d'Italia as he edged Britain's Ben Swift by the width of a wheel in Dublin.
"I thought I'd lost because I wasn't in a good position," said the Giant-Shimano rider.
"When I could see the finish line after the final corner I gave it everything and it was really close but I just concentrated on the line and managed to come past everyone.
"It is extra special to win on your birthday and I must thank my team-mates for the work they did for me again."
Despite being beaten so close to the line, Swift, who rides for Team Sky, admitted he was not too disappointed by the result.
"To lose so close to the line shows how quickly he was coming back at me," he said.
"It was a headwind sprint and I was waiting, waiting.
"I'm not too disappointed to lose against Kittel.
"I wanted to get into the big bunch sprints, but I'm more focused on the lumpier stages."
Kittel's winning time in the 187 kilometre route was four hours 28min and 43 secs.
Australia's Orica GreenEdge rider Michael Matthews finished in the peloton to retain his overall lead, after taking the leader's pink jersey from teammate Svein Tuft of Canada yesterday.
Italian Elia Viviani, riding for Cannondale, finished third.
The riders will have a rest day tomorrow while the race moves to Italy for the remaining 18 stages of the three-week event, which is due to end in Trieste on June 1.
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May 2014: German Kittel wins second stage of Giro d'Italia
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