Victory on day two of the Ruta del Sol went Gonazalo Serrano, who denied the favourites in the tough final climb.
Caja Rural-Seguros rider Serrano launched a perfectly paced attack in the final kilometre as the road ramped up to almost 18 per cent, pushing all the way to the line and holding of a final surge from the bunch.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Despite the best efforts of Movistar and Bahrain-McLaren, it was 25-year-old Serrano who triumphed to take his first pro victory.
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) finished just four second behind the stage winner and holds onto the race lead heading into stage three.
How it happened
Another unpredictable stage was on the cards for day two of the Ruta del Sol 2020, after the general classification exploded on the opening stage in Andalusia.
The stage ran over 198.1km from Sevilla to Iznajar in Spain’s southern region, with another testing parcours for the peloton.
After a 50km flat start, the roads ramped up into the first of three categorised climbs on the route – the 4km and five per cent average Puerto de Calera – followed shortly after the by the third cat Alto Valle Sierra Sur (2.8km at 6.6 per cent).
Then a rolling middle section followed over the next 70km, before things ramped up again for the final.
The last categorised climb of the day was Puerto de la Parrilla, a third category rise over 8.8km at 3.6 per cent, which topped out with 13km to race.
After dropping down again, the leaders would then face a short and sharp climb in the final kilometre, averaging more than eight per cent gradient and reaching a maximum of almost 18, up to the line to decide the stage.
The day’s breakaway featured five hopefuls who stood a chance of making it to the line over the rolling terrain.
Juan Felipe Osoria (Burgos-BH), Taco van der Hoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Energie) and Britain’s Matt Holmes (Lotto-Soudal) made up the day’s escape, and pulled out an almost four-minute gap at the maximum.
The peloton began to reel them in and the gap was down to 90 seconds as the race approached the final categorised climb.
Van der Hoorn and Gougeard put in an attack on the early slopes of the climb, as Holmes and Osoria were forced to chase them down, with the Brit putting in a substantial effort to close down the gap.
But that group were eventually caught near the summit, which prompted a response from Stefano Oldani (Lotto-Soudal) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) who launched their own two-up attack.
They led the race on the descent, but never pulled out a substantial gap and were finally caught with just under 5km to race.
Movistar led the charge on the remaining downhill section, with Mitchelton-Scott tied to their wheels at the head of the bunch, with the Spanish team leading the charge onto the final climb with 1km to race.
Gonzalo Serrano from Caja-Rural launched a huge attack in the first 200 metres of the climb and pulled out a considerable gap, looking over his shoulder to see the peloton not far behind.
But he wouldn’t be dissuaded and continued with his move, gradually pulling the finish line within sight on the ultra-steep gradients.
The bunch surged behind as Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren) and Juan José Lobato (Fundación-Orbea) tried to chase down the leader, but Serrano held on to take his first pro win.
Fuglsang will hold onto his race lead with a four-second advantage over Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren).
Ruta del Sol 2020, stage two: Sevilla to Iznajar (198.1km)
1. Gonazalo Serrano (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, in 5-07-49
2. Juan José Lobato (Esp) Fundación-Orbea, at 2s
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren
4. Clément Venturini (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 4s
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
7. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana
9. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
10. Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar, all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, in 9-49-01
2. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at 6s
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren, at 23s
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 27s
5. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana, at 30s
6. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren, at same time
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-00
8. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 1-09
9. Rubén Fernández (Esp) Fundación-Orbea, at 1-13
10. David de la Cruz (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-14