Juan Jose Lobato sprints to Ruta del Sol stage 2 victory

Movistar's Juan Jose Lobato outsprints John Degenkolb to win stage 2 of the Ruta del Sol, with Alberto Contador retaining the overall lead

MADRID (AFP) — Spain’s Juan José Lobato (Movistar) took a sprint victory in the the Ruta del Sol’s 191.7km second stage from Utrera to Lucenato, while Alberto Contador retained his overall lead on Thursday.

Lobato suffered a minor head injury when crashing during Wednesday’s first stage, but his sprint to the slightly uphill finish of stage 2 was strong enough that he even had time to celebrate several meters before crossing the line ahead of German John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and Slovenian Grega Bole (CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice).

Alberto Contador, the current race leader, had made a surprising burst for the line himself in the final kilometers, but finished among the peloton to maintain his overall lead.

Movistar rider Beñat Intxausti moved up to second place, just a second behind his compatriot Contador, after Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) lost ground on the leaders.

Chris Froome remains eight seconds off the lead in third overall after finishing back in 12th on the day.

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.