Colorado - BMC rider Mathias Frank won the second stage of the USA Pro Challenge on Tuesday as the overall lead went to Garmin-Sharp's Lachlan Morton.
"For me, the stage win was the most important thing," Frank said. "That's what I got, so I'm really happy."
Frank escaped with Morton and Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) from a large, late breakaway. He opened a gap on both on the final climb with four kilometers to go, but wasn't able to gain enough ground on Australia's Morton.
Morton seized the race lead from Cannondale's Peter Sagan, but the Slovakian champion didn't go down without a fight on the 202.9km stage from Aspen, which featured three major climbs.
Sagan, the 2013 Tour de France sprint jersey winner, attacked the field on the final climb and took Tejay van Garderen with him. The pair overtook Craddock in the final kilometers with Sagan easily taking third on the stage.
Morton leads the overall standings by two seconds over Frank, who was in a second group on the opening stage which lost five seconds.
Sagan is third overall, 11 seconds back.
Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Britain finished 76th in the stage, more than 11 minutes adrift.
The Sky rider, competing in Colorado for the first time, lies 76th in the overall standings going into Wednesday's third stage, 107km from Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs.
Results on Tuesday in the 202.9 kilometer second stage of the USA Pro Challenge from Aspen to Breckenridge:
Mathias Frank (SUI/BMC) 5hr 5min 19sec, 2. Lachlan Morton
(AUS/Garmin-Sharp) at 3sec, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/Cannondale) at 14, 4.
Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 5. Lawson Craddock (USA/Bontrager)
21, 6. Tom Danielson (USA/Garmin-Sharp 32, 7. Darwin Atapuma
(COL/Colombia) 33, 8. Damiano Caruso (ITA/Cannondale) 44, 9. Michael
Schar (SUI/BMC) s.t., 10. George Bennett (NZL/RadioShack) s.t.
Also: 76. Chris Froome (GBR/Sky) 11:12
Overall standings after stage 2
Lachlan Morton (AUS/Garmin-Sharp) 7HR 31min 22sec, 2. Mathias Frank
(SUI/BMC) at 2 sec, 3.Peter Sagan (SVK/Cannondale) 11, 4. Tejay Van
Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 5. Lawson Craddock (USA/Bontrager) 18, 6. Tom
Danielson (USA/Garmin-Sharp) 29, 7. Darwin Atapuma (COL/ATAPUMA Darwin
(COL/Colombia) 35, 8. Damiano Caruso (ITA/Cannondale) 41, 9. Christopher
Baldwin (USA/Bissell) s.t., 10. Gregor Brenes Obando (CRC/Champion
Also: 76. Chris Froome (GBR/Sky) 16:08