Degenkolb takes Vuelta sprint
Castroviejo maintains red jersey
Last Updated: 21/08/12 6:45pm
John Degenkolb: Proved to be the quickest man at the finish in Viana
John Degenkolb claimed his first Grand Tour stage win as the second test at the Vuelta a Espana came down to a bunch sprint.
The German (Argos-Shimano) timed his burst of speed to perfection to just pip his rivals on the line in an extremely close finish.
Britain's Ben Swift jumped first and led out the sprint in the closing metres, the Team Sky rider holding on for third spot just behind Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEDGE).
The finish in Viana was the first road stage proper of the race and provided a chance for the sprinters to gauge their level against one another.
There was a big fight for position on the arrow-straight run into the town, the bunch kick meaning that the general classification remained unchanged.
Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) returned to the podium to pull on the red jersey, with the race set to be spiced up further on Monday with an uphill finish into the Basque Country.
197 riders took the start of the 181.4-kilometre test, Enrico Gasparotto of Astana carrying the unfortunate honour of the first retiree following a crash on Saturday's team time trial.
Four riders hit out early with the main prize mid-stage being the chance to pull on the mountains classification jersey. At just 10 seconds off the race lead Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was not allowed to join the group after initially following the move.
After 77km a fight broke out on the third category Alto de la Chapela, the only climb on the day, with Javier Chacon (Andalucia) edging out Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) and Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) to pull on the first blue and white polka dot jersey.
With the trio only ever building an advantage in the region of five minutes a bunch sprint always looked likely as Movistar controlled the bunch on another scorching day.
A late dig from Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM) was snuffed out before the sprinters' teams took it up and Degenkolb demonstrated his form.