Team Sky's blistering pace up Gibraltar rode set up Egan Bernal for a perfect stage 2 victory as well as the overall lead.

He came into the Amgen Tour of California’s queen stage as the outright favorite with the best team — Egan Bernal and Team Sky were up to the task.

With a fierce attack on Gibraltar Road, the Colombian climbing sensation won stage 2 and took the overall lead Monday.

“We wanted to do a really hard stage,” said Bernal of Sky’s tactic to ramp up the pace early on Gibraltar. “I think in the last part it was the most important part of the race and we tried to do it the most hardest possible. In the final part, Seb [Henao] and Tao [Geoghegan Hart] did a really good job.”

Stage 2, top 10

Top-10 overall

Team Sky went to work right away at the base of the 10km-long finish climb, a little after the day’s breakaway of Adam De Vos (Rally), Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare), and Ruben Companioni (Holowesko-Citadel) was caught.

Between Sebastian Henao and Tao Geoghegan Hart, Sky’s brutal pacemaking whittled down the front group to just about 12 riders.

Geoghegan Hart himself looked capable of a big result on the 157km stage, at one point, gapping the rest of the riders in the final selection toward the top of the steep climb.

But the Brit was committed to the team’s mission, and Bernal paid off the effort with about two kilometers to go.

Bernal’s attack was brutal and decisive. For a moment, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) stood up to follow. He quickly sat down and eased into his own tempo.

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Antwan Tolhoek hopped off the American’s wheel to try chasing the Colombian.

There wasn’t any question as to who would win the day. Bernal blasted to his first mass-start WorldTour win in his young career, following a time trial victory at Tour de Romandie last month.

“I’m so happy because the team did a really good job and I”m so happy to be in this great team,” Bernal added. “When I attacked, I just did my piece. … I needed to control the climb, it was good.”

The Dutchman Tolhoek faded in the finish, passed by Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who ended up second and third, respectively. Majka was 21 seconds behind Bernal, and Yates was 25 seconds adrift.

Van Garderen, the 2013 winner and a favorite to win the overall, ceded 50 seconds to Bernal, ending the day eighth.

More climbs are on tap Tuesday in a long 197km stage to Laguna Seca. The short, steep kicker to the raceway will be tough, but it isn’t likely enough to unseat the Colombian climber from the pole position.

Stage 2 results

General classification