Yauheni Hutarovich claimed victory on the second stage of the Vuelta a España yesterday after stunning Mark Cavendish in a sprint finish, although it was not enough to wrest the leader's red jersey from the Briton.
Belarusian Hutarovich of the Française des Jeux team scorched past the favourite Cavendish at the end of the 173.7km (108-mile) ride from Alcala de Guadaira to Marbella to win the stage in a time of 4hr 35min 41 sec.
Cavendish was second, meaning he keeps the overall lead after helping his HTC-Columbia team win the team time trial on the opening day on Saturday. American Tyler Farrar was third.
On a sweltering-hot day in the south of Spain, a group of four riders – Javier Ramirez Abeja, Mickael Buffaz, Johnnie Walker and Mickael Delage – broke away after 4km and they boasted an advantage of more than seven minutes a third of the way through the stage.
They lost Buffaz when the Swiss suffered a nasty fall that resulted in him pulling out of the Vuelta with a fractured collarbone.
The remaining three riders were caught by Spaniard Marcos Garcia at about the 129km mark, but the leaders were unable to keep their advantage over the peloton, being swallowed up with just over 10km to go. That set up a sprint finish, where Hutarovich emerged victorious for his first Vuelta stage win.