Los Angeles - Colombian rider Egan Bernal of Team Sky surged late in the final climb to win Monday's second stage of the Tour of California race, seizing the overall lead.
The 21-year-old from Bogota captured his fourth win of the year, taking the 157km stage in 4 hours 14 minutes, giving him an overall top time of 7:16:13.
"In the final 2km I attacked it and I arrived alone," Bernal said.
"The last part was the most important part. We tried to do it the most hardest possible.
"When I attacked I just did my pace. I needed to take control of the climb. I looked back and it was good.
"The team did such a great job. I'm happy to be on this great team."
Poland's Rafal Majka (Bora) was second, 21 seconds back, with Britain's Adam Yates (Mitchelton) third, another four seconds adrift.
In the overall fight, Majka was second at 25 seconds back with Yates at 31 and Dutchman Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL) fourth at 40 seconds back.
The field was in a pack as it reached the closing 12km climb of Gibraltar Road, with a 14 percent gradient at times, but Team Sky took command as the ascent progressed, cracking contenders in setting the stage for Bernal's final charge.
Bernal was pleased with the lead but unwilling to declare himself the man to beat, looking ahead to a Stage 4 time trial in San Jose with trepidation.
"We need to wait," the South American said.
"The time trial will be hard for me."
Colombia's Fernando Gaviria of Quick-Step won the opening 134.5km stage, but the severe mountain course left the day-two glory to the climbers.
Tuesday's 197km third stage goes from King City to Laguna Seca in the seven-day event, which began on Sunday in Long Beach and concludes on Saturday in Sacramento.
Reigning champion George Bennett skipped the US event, opting instead for the ongoing Giro d'Italia.
Results and standings from Monday's 157km second stage of the Tour of California from Ventura to Gibraltar Road:
1. Egan Bernal (COL/Team Sky) 4hrs 14mins 00secs, 2. Rafal Majka (POL/Bora) at 21 secs, 3. Adam Yates (GBR/Mitchelton) at 25, 4. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LottoNL) at 30, 5. Daniel Martinez (COL/EF-Drapac) same time, 6. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/Team Emirates) s.t., 7. Mathias Frank (SWI/La Mondiale) at 40, 8. Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 50, 9. Edward Ravasi (ITA/Team Emirates) at 59, 10. Ruben Guerreiro (POR/Trek) at 1:01
1. Egan Bernal (COL/Team Sky) 7:16:13, 2. Rafal Majka (POL/Bora) at 25 secs, 3. Adam Yates (GBR/Mitchelton) at 31, 4. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LottoNL) at 40, 5. Daniel Martinez (COL/EF-Drapac) same time, 6. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/Team Emirates) s.t., 7. Mathias Frank (SWI/La Mondiale) at 50, 8. Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 1:00, 9. Edward Ravasi (ITA/Team Emirates) at 1:09, 10. Ruben Guerreiro (POR/Trek) at 1:11