198 riders took the start of stage 2 at Algeciras. José Aramendia (Caja Rural) attacked right after the flag off, followed by Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), Romain Hardy (Cofidis) who celebrated his 26th birthday on this 24th of August, Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Kristian Sbaragli and Jacques Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka). Haas crested the summit of Alto del Cabrito (km 10) in first position and claimed the first polka dot jersey of the 69th Vuelta a España, after which he dropped back to the bunch, so did Sbaragli whose job was to lead Gerald Ciolek out in an eventual bunch gallop.
Conti, Hardy, Aramendia and Janse van Rensburg got a maximum lead of five minutes with 80km to go. Giant-Shimano and FDJ.fr were the first teams in a chasing mood. The four breakaway riders got reeled in with 20km to go.
In the streets of finishing town San Fernando, FDJ.fr gave an excellent lead out to Nacer Bouhanni. The four leaved clover team passed the last curve in first position, with Fisher and Soupe taking the last turns. Bouhanni got out of the box with 200 metres to go. As he crossed the line in 21st position ahead of his team-mates who were in the same time as him after the team time trial, Alejandro Valverde took over from Jonathan Castroviejo in the overall lead.