Madrid – Frenchman Jonathan Hivert won the first stage of the Tour of Andalusia on Monday, a 164km ride from San Fernando to Ubrique.
The 27-year-old - who is in top form having won France's first professional race of the season the Etoile de Besseges in early February - prevailed in a sprint finish ahead of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and Dutchman Bauke Mollema.
Movistar rider Valverde retained the overall lead, holding a seven second advantage over Belgium's Jurgen Van den Broeck and Mollema, who is a further four seconds back, after the Spaniard won Sunday's prologue.
Hivert is eighth overall and 25secs off the lead.
Tuesday's second stage is the 194km ride from Trebujena to Montilla. – Sapa-AFP