Egan Bernal (Team Sky) took a dominant victory on a tough summit finish at the end of the second stage of the Tour of California to move into the race lead.
While Team Sky and Chris Froome have been struggling at the Giro d'Italia, 21-year-old Bernal was flying in California as he launched a stinging attack in the final three kilometres to ride clear, crossing the line more than 21 seconds ahead of Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 25 seconds ahead of Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
The early part of the day had seen a three-man group escape early, with Ruben Companioni (Holowesko-Citadel), Adam De Vos (Rally) and Australian Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) enjoying a maximum lead of more than six minutes as the peloton prepared itself for the testing summit finish of Gibraltor Road.
In the end the break was caught by the base of the 12km climb, with Michael Schär (BMC Racing) helping to blow the race to pieces on the lower slopes of the climb as he worked to protect Tejay van Garderen and Brent Bookwalter.
Schär's work reduced the group to just a dozen or so riders, before Team Sky moved to the front with Tao Geoghegan Hart working hard to set up the anticipated move by Bernal.
And with slightly less than three kilometres remaining that move came as Bernal put in a stinging acceleration that none of the other GC contenders were able to follow.
By the line Bernal had opened his lead to 21 seconds ahead of Majka, with Yates, on his comeback from injury, another four seconds back. That result means that Bernal not only moves into the race lead, but also the mountains, points, and best young rider jerseys.
The Tour of California continues on Tuesday with another mountainous stage to Laguna Seca, before a 34.7km time trial on Wednesday where Bernal will face a stiff test to hold on to his lead.
Tour of California 2018, stage two: Ventura to Gibraltor Road, 157km
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky, in 4-14-00
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 21 secs
3. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 25 secs
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 30 secs
5. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac, at same time
6. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 40 secs
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, at 50 secs
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 59 secs
10. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-01
General classification after stage two
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky, in 7-16-13
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 25 secs
3. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 31 secs
4. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 40 secs
5. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
6. Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac, at same time
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 50 secs
8. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, at 1-00
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-09
10. Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-11
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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