Dubai - Mark Cavendish was pipped for victory in the second stage of the Dubai Tour by Elia Viviani on Thursday but kept the race leader's jersey.
The Briton was second on the 185km run from Dubai International Marine Club to Palm Jumeirah but the bonus seconds he took in winning Wednesday's opening stage ensured he remained in the leader's blue jersey.
Team Sky's Viviani, who was third on Wednesday, is now just two seconds behind after clawing back four of the six seconds he lost to the Etixx-Quick Step rider on the opening stage.
Cavendish's team led him into the final kilometre at the front of the field but Astana's Andrea Guardini, who lost out to the Manxman on Wednesday in a photo-finish, was first to shoot for the line.
Having left his charge too late on the opening stage, the Italian went too early this time and countryman Viviani jumped on his wheel before powering past to take a clear victory -- his first since joining Sky this season -- with Cavendish passing the fading Guardini.
Friday's third and penultimate stage is the longest of the race covering 205km from the Marine Club to Hatta Dam.