(Reuters) - France's Nacer Bouhanni surged to the line to claim second stage honors at the Tour of Spain on Sunday, holding off a late burst by Germany's John Degenkolb.
With tour favorites Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador looking to avoid trouble on a challenging finish at the end of the flat 174.4-km ride from Algeciras to San Fernando, FDJ.fr's Bouhanni held off Degenkolb, of Giant, and Italian Lampre-Merida rider Roberto Ferrari in a sprint finish.
Francisco Aramendia, Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, Romain Hardy and 21-year-old Valerio Conti, who replaced last year’s winner Chris Horner in Team Lampre-Merida, broke clear around the hour mark and maintained their lead until the final 20-km.
The sprinters moved to the fore with the IAM Cycling, Lotto Belisol and Giant-Shimano teams at the front of the peloton but Bouhanni went away early and made it over the line first with Degenkolb close behind.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde took the leader's red jersey from compatriot and fellow Movistar rider Jonathan Castroviejo.
(Reporting by Tim Hanlon; Editing by Josh Reich)