South African Robbie Hunter won the second stage of the Volta Ao Santarém in Cartaxo, Portugal, taking the stage and the overall lead on the final time bonus. A group of four riders spent the day off the front, while Hunter's Barloworld team left the onus on overall leader Javier Benitez' Benfica team to control the gaps.
In the finale, the pressure of the Benfica-led chase proved too strong for the escapees, Amets Txurrka (Euskaltel), Emilien Berges (Agritubel), Jose Torres (Barbot) and Hernani Broco (Liberty), but the work did not pay off for Benfica. Benitez lost the wheel of his train on the run-in and came in a distant twelfth.
The win is Hunter's second of the season after he prevailed in Sunday's Cape Argus Pick'n Pay Classic.
Hunter's form appears to be coming along well, and he will be looking forward to Milan-Sanremo on March 24.