Jesus Herrada (Movistar) has won the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) maintained his lead over Australia's Richie Porte (BMC) and Chris Froome (Sky).
After the peloton caught the break, Herrada made the most of a slightly uphill finish to time his attack to perfection.
He made his move in the last 200 metres of the 168km stage in central France, surging ahead to finish two seconds ahead of Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal). Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) took third place.
“I'm so happy to have won in such an important race, against so many talented riders," Herrada said. The pace during the stage was steady, without any real drops, but despite Tinkoff leading for the whole race, there was some point when the breakaway got five or six minutes, and that forced Etixx to take the lead and push hard.
"That rhythm before the climbs left only one chance and one thing to do for us, follow the wheels and save energy until the ascents.
"The team managed the situation perfectly. Fran and Marc kept us well protected, Antonio helped out as much as he could and it was Rubén and Dayer's task, mostly Dayer, to follow those moves.
"I knew the finish, I kept in mind that it was so good for me, but at the same time, I couldn't spend a bit of energy more than I should, because I only had that one opportunity: the sprint.
"I tried to save that bit for the end and succeeded to keep myself calm until the final 500 meters, when Dani attacked, the break was finally caught and I saw my place to try the move into the final turn. I'm immensely happy with how things played out."
More to come.