Dan Martin left it late, but made his attack count in the summit finish of stage two at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, springing clear of the peloton and winning by two seconds.
The Irishman sealed his first win in Etixx-Quick Step colours by launching an inspired counter-attack in the last kilometre on the climb to Fredes.
Movistar’s Jose Herrada made the early move on the final climb of the 163km stage and crossed under the flamme rouge alone, looking as if he could hold his position until the end.
But the fightback started when Roompot Oranje Peloton’s Pieter Weening attacked off the front, prompting a response by Team Sky and Wout Poels in the leader’s jersey.
Several other riders tried their hand in the final few hundred metres, but it was Martin who made his attack stick, quickly opening up a gap on the bunch behind.
Summiting the category one climb, Martin raised his arms as he weaved his way through the final few corners of the stage, beating Herrada’s brother Jesus to the line.
Poels finished third to retain the leader’s jersey, which he holds by 15 seconds from Luis Leon Sanchez thanks to his excellent time trial performance on stage one.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage two, Castellon-Fredes (163.3km)
1. Dan Martin (Ire) Etixx-Quick Step, 4-10-06
2. Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar, at 2s
3. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, st
4. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Team Sky, st
5. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale, st
6. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, st
7. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, st
8. Eduard Prades (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, st
9. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar, st
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale, st
Overall standings after stage two
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, 4-32-42
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, at 15s
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana, at 22s
4. Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar, at 26s
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx-Quick Step, at 27s
6. Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar, at 32s
7. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Team Sky, at 33s
8. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, at 38s
9. Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team Sky, at 39s
10. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling, at 45s