Madrid - Spaniard Juan Jose Lobato has won a tight sprint to clinch stage two of the Ruta del Sol in southern Spain, while Alberto Contador retained his overall lead on Thursday.
Lobato suffered a minor head injury when crashing during Wednesday's first stage, but timed his run to the finish perfectly to take the 191.7km stage from Utrera to Lucena ahead of German sprint specialist John Degenkolb and Slovenian Grega Bole in a time of 4hr 51min 59sec.
Contador, a double Tour de France champion, had made a surprising burst for the line himself in the final kilometres, but finished among the peloton in 23rd to maintain his overall lead.
"The stage was tiring because of the wind. The team did exceptionally well, from the start they upped the rhythm to ensure the breakaway couldn't gain more time because we knew the sprinters would then go to work," said Contador.
"We tried to go as far to the front as possible to avoid any kind of crash or mishap that could happen.
"Now we have to recover because tomorrow is the real moment of truth."
Movistar rider Benat Intxausti moves up to second just a second behind his compatriot after Luxembourg's Bob Jungels lost 46 seconds on the leaders.
Britain's Chris Froome remains eight seconds off the lead in third overall after finishing back in 12th on the day.
"Today was a day where we didn't have big stage ambitions and it was more about coming through the day without losing time," said Sky sports director Dario Coni.
"We're looking more to the next two days ahead which will be important for the general classification. We were able to get Chris across the line without issues."
Friday's third stage sees the riders tackle a mountain finish for the first time in the five-day race with a 157.6km ride from Motril to Alto de Hazallanas.
Results from the second stage of the Ruta del Sol, a 191.7km ride from Utrera to Lucena in on Thursday:
1. Juan Jose Lobato (ESP/MOV) 4hr 51min 57sec, 2. John Degenkolb (GER/TGA) at same time, 3. Grega Bole (SLV/CCC) s.t., 4. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 5. Eduardo Prades Reverte (ESP/CJR) s.t., 6. Daniele Ratto (ITA/UHC) s.t., 7. Peio Bilbao (ESP/CJR) s.t., 8. Edward Theuns (BEL/TSV) s.t., 9. Huub Duyn (NED/ROO) s.t., 10. Oliver Naesen (BEL/TSV) s.t.
12. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t.
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TCS) 8hr 03min 40sec, 2. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) at 01sec, 3. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 08sec, 4. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) s.t., 5. Peter Kennaugh (GBR/SKY) 12sec, 6. Ivan Basso (ITA/TCS) 17sec, 7. Edward Theuns (BEL/TSV) 18sec, 8. John Degenkolb (GER/TGA) 20sec, 9. Kanstantsin Siutsov (BLR/SKY) 21sec, 10. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 28sec