First Grand Tour stage win for young German, Allan Davis of Orica-GreenEdge 2nd, Team Sky's Ben Swift 3rd...

John Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano has taken the first Grand Tour stage win of his career in Viana this afternoon, timing his run perfectly to pip Allan Davis of Orica-GreenEdge just ahead of the line to take Stage 2 of the 2012 Vuelta. Ben Swift of Team Sky launched his sprint from a long way out, Degenkolb latching onto his wheel and overhauling him in the closing hundred metres swift finished third after a tussle with Elia Viviani of Liquigas-Cannondale, the pair crossing the line shoulder to shoulder. Jonatho Castroviejo of Movistar keeps the race lead.

A year ago this week, when Argos-Shimano was racing as Skil-Shimano, it was former HTC-Highroad rider Degenkolb's fellow German and now team mate Marcel Kittel who used a stage in the opening week of the Vuelta to open his Grand Tour account. Degenkolb is the same age, 23 years, as Kittel was 12 months ago.

Today's 181.4-kilometre stage was ridden in extremely humid conditions, the temperature nudging 40 degrees Celsius, and it was Movistar who set tempo at the front of the bunch for much of the day to keep a three-man break in check. At times, strong crosswinds also made things tough for the riders.

Originally, four men had got away after a larger attack early on, but with Rabobank's Niki Terpstra a clear threat to Castroviejo's race lead, it wasn't until the Dutchman was dropped from that small group that the three remaining escapees, Javier Francisco Aramendia of Caja Rural, Katusha's Mikhail Ignatyev and Javier Chacon from the Andalucia team were allowed to get much leeway on the peloton.

Former Euskaltel-Euskadi rder Aramendia led the trio over the day's only significant climb, the Category 3 Alto de la Chapela, with Chacon crossing second but the commissaires subsequetly reversed the order due to an apparent infringement and it will be Chacon who tomorrow wears the blue polka dot jersey of mountains classification leader.

Chacon was caught by the peloton a little under 20 kilometres from the line, with Ignatief and Aramendia managing to hold out for another eight kilometres or so, before the peloton, now led by Orica-GreenEdge, swept them up ahead of the sprint finish, although the pack also had to counter a move by Sergey Lagutin of Vacansoleil-DCM who chanced his arm with a solo attack around 5 kilometres out.

One rider failed to start this morning, Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto of Astana, who fell during yesterday's team time trial and broke his collabone in three places.

Vuelta Stage 2 Result  

1  DEGENKOLB, John              ARG    4h 38' 40''
2  DAVIS, Allan                 OGE All at same time
3  SWIFT, Ben                   SKY
4  VIVIANI, Elia                LIQ
5  LODEWYCK, Klaas              BMC
6  REYNES, Vicente              LTB
7  CIMOLAI, Davide              LAM
8  MEERSMAN, Gianni             LTB
9 CARDOSO, Manuel               CJR
10 BENNATI, Daniele             RNT
11 PÉREZ, Rubén                 EUS
12 FERNÁNDEZ, Koldo             GRS
13 STEEGMANS, Gert              OPQ
14 VAN WINDEN, Dennis           RAB
16 BOUHANNI, Nacer              FDJ
17 LIGTHART, Pim                VCD
18 MONDORY, Lloyd               ALM
19 STYBAR, Zdenek               OPQ
20 BAGOT, Yohann                COF

Last man home on Stage 2  

197 BOUCHER, David              FDJ +    12' 56''

General Classification after Stage 2  

1  CASTROVIEJO, Jonathan        MOV 4h 57' 31''
2  QUINTANA, Nairo              MOV  Same time
3  MORENO, Javier               MOV
4  VALVERDE, Alejandro          MOV
5  INTXAUSTI, Beñat             MOV
6  COBO, Juan José              MOV       + 4''
7  VAN WINDEN, Dennis           RAB      + 10''
8  TERPSTRA, Niki               OPQ      + 10''
9  DE WEERT, Kevin              OPQ      + 10''
10 BALLAN, Alessandro           BMC      + 10''

Points Classificatino after Stage 2  

1 DEGENKOLB, John              ARG         25
2 DAVIS, Allan                 OGE         20
3 SWIFT, Ben                   SKY         16
4 VIVIANI, Elia                LIQ         14
5 LODEWYCK, Klaas              BMC         12

Mountains Classification after Stage 2  

1 CHACON, Javier              ACG          3
2 ARAMENDIA, Javier           CJR          2
3 IGNATYEV, Mikhail           KAT          1

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.