Vitoria - South Africa's Daryl Impey on Tuesday won the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country but Italy's Francesco Gavazzi, whom he beat in the sprint for the line, took the leader's green jersey.
Spain's Angel Vicioso, who finished third on Monday, filled the same position again on the 170.2km stage from Elgoibar to Vitoria.
The 28-year-old Impey was following up his second stage win in the race last year.
Helped by his team-mates he held on strongly to prevail in the dash for the finish.
Gavazzi replaced Australian Simon Gerrans at the top of the overall standings.
The stage was marked by a solo breakaway by Amets Txurruka with the peloton swooping six kilometres from the line.
Wednesday's third stage takes the riders 164.7km from Vitoria to Trapagaran.
Results Tuesday from the second stage of Tour of Basque Country, a 170km ride from Elgoibar to Vitoria:
1. Daryl Impey, South Africa, Orica-Greenedge, 4 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds.
2. Francesco Gavazzi, Italy, Astana, same time.
3. Angel Vicioso, Spain, Katusha, same time.
4. Daniele Ratto, Italy, Cannondale, same time.
5. Dennis Vanendert, Belgium, Lotto-Belisol, same time.
6. Michel Kreder, Netherlands, Garmin-Sharp, same time.
7. Daniele Pietropolli, Italy, Lampre-Merida, same time.
8. Egoitz Garcia, Spain, Cofidis, same time.
9. Maciej Paterski, Poland, Cannondale, same time.
10. Peter Velits, Slovakia, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, same time.
Overall Standings (After 2 of 6 stages):
1. Francesco Gavazzi, Italy, Astana, 8:30:04.
2. Angel Vicioso, Spain, Katusha, same time.
3. Peter Velits, Slovakia, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, same time.
4. Jacob Fuglsang, Denmark, Astana, same time.
5. Nairo Alexander Quintana, Colombia, Movistar, same time.
6. Sergio Luis Henao, Colombia, Sky, same time.
7. Simon Gerrans, Australia, Orica-Greenedge, same time.
8. Richie Porte, Australia, Sky, same time.
9. Rui Costa, Portugal, Movistar, same time.
10. Tejay Van Garderen, United States, BMC Racing, same time