After 190km between Lambarene to Moulia, Team Lampre-Merida’s Italian Palini lost out in a sprint finish with stage one winner Robert.
Team Lotito-Belisol’s Gert Dockx was just behind team-mate Robert in third, while Daniel Petit - second in the General Classification – was fourth.
The stage was marked by two heavy tropical showers during the opening and latter stages of the race, with a 12-man breakaway in between that was controlled by Lampre.
However, a crash for Massimo Graziato meant Palini had to finish without a lead-out man, with Robert claiming victory in the end."My target is to win the overall classification although a second stage victory would be great,” Palini said.
“My energy is decreasing, but I can rely on my team-mates, who always support me in an outstanding way."
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