Paddy Bevin of New Zealand got his first professional win in the second stage of the Tour Down Under ©CCC Team

New Zealand's Paddy Bevin claimed his first professional win on the second stage of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) Tour Down Under. 

The second stage of the WorldTour race consisted of a 122 kilometres route from Norwood to Angaston.

The distance had been shortened under the race's heat protocol, with temperatures forecast to reach 40 degrees Celsius. 

A crash a kilometre from the end meant that the majority of the peleton were prevented from contesting the finish.

Former winner Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain emerged as the leader from the crash but it was Bevin that crossed the line first in 3 hours 14min 31sec, following a determined sprint. 

Defending champion Caleb Ewan of Australia was in second, while three-time world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia finished in third. 

Bevin, riding for CCC Pro Team, now leads in the overall standings with 6:34:03, five seconds in front of yesterday's winner, Elia Viviani of Italy. 

Ewan is a further four seconds behind.

The third stage will take place tomorrow, with cyclists competing over 146.2km from Lobethal to Uraidla.

The Tour Down Under is the opening event of the UCI Men's WorldTour and will last until January 20.