Team RadioShack took control of the General Classification as Chris Horner's stunning ride allowed Horner and Levi Leipheimer to finish 1-2 in the GC after Stage 4 in the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.
Horner accomplished the feat by dominating the final climb on Sierra road over the likes of Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck and Garmin-Cervelo's Christian Vande Velde. Leipheimer is now 1:15 behind Horner in the GC, giving Horner the largest lead ever in race history.
The Stage 4 climb was widely expected to shake out the general classification contenders. Garmin Cevelo's Ryder Hesjedal proved this by attacking 15 km prior to the climb which surprised the peloton as Hesjedal took a 30-second lead.
RadioShack countered by having Matthew Busche take a hard pull on the opening slope, which set up Horner and Leipheimer for the climb. As the team leader going into the race, Leipheimer was pulled by Horner, which allowed the pair to close in on Hesjedal.
Horner then proceeded to accelerate past Hesjedal and Leipheimer could not hold his wheel. Following team tactics, Leipheimer ceded leadership and stayed with Hesjedal so Horner could solo ride to the stage victory.
Leipheimer ended up being caught be an elite chase group including Leopard-Trek's Schleck, UnitedHealthcare Rory Sutherland, and Vande Velde. All finished with the same time, but Leipheimer previous GC lead allowed him to stay second in the standings to Horner.
Stage 4's 132 km (82 mile) ride from Livermore to San Jose through Mount Hamilton marks the Bay Area's appearance in this year's tour.
Tomorrow's Stage 5 start from Monterey (Seaside) to Paso Robles will feature several climbs including a Category 4 on Carmel Valley Road. Stage 5 won't be nearly as crucial for the GC as Stage 4 because of the final descent and an early breakaway may produce a stage winner.
Stage 6's individual time trial in Solvang could see Horner and Leipheimer flop leadership again as Leipheimer is one the strongest time trialist in the field. Stage 7's Mt. Baldy finishing climb should decide the GC before the Stage 8 final.
Either way, Horner and Leipheimer have put Team RadioShack in a good position to take the top two podium spots.