Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead earned the best British rider jersey in torrential rain on the second day of the Friends Life Women’s Tour of Britain.
The Boels Dolman rider was second in the sprint at Lutterworth, gaining a two- second time bonus, while the Yorkshirewoman again headed her nemesis Marianne Vos on the final sprint of the day at Turvey.
Armitstead was seventh on the 118.5km stage from Hinckley to Bedford, which put her fifth in the overall classification, 14 seconds behind leader Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico Faren) of Italy.
She in turn was five seconds ahead of her countrywoman Susanna Zorzi, with Holland’s Vos a second back in third.
Leeds’ Hannah Barnes was a second behind Armitstead in sixth overall, while Lucy Garner had climbed to tenth on the back of a fifth-place finish.
Ratto was the day’s main protagonist, breaking away from the peloton early before she was joined by Zorzi (Astana).
The duo held off the charging peloton and Ratto, third at last year’s World Championships, won the two-up sprint.
Olympic and world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) led the peloton to the line in third, six seconds behind the pair.
Leicestershire’s former two-time world junior champion Garner (Great Britain) raced through her home town of Crosby earlier in the day and was fifth.
Stage one winner Emma Johansson (Orica-GreenEdge) was 11th.
Tomorrow's third stage is an 80.5km route from Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea where crosswinds could have an impact.
The race finishes in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.