Stage two of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California had two mountains in the back half, the course designed to split the peloton, leaving the contenders at the top of the GC standings and dropping pretenders down the rankings. That never materialized, and after a long day in the saddle it remains anyone's race. Peter Sagan took the stage win and the 10 second time bonus that comes with it, getting a better grip on his yellow leader's jersey. He was at the front of the group as they came around the final turn, and immediately after swooping through the curve he put the hammer down. Henrich Haussler had no chance at catching him, and once again Sagan and Haussler finish 1-2, with Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) in third.
There was a breakaway in the stage, led by Frenchman Alexandre Geniez (Argos-Shimano). The Bay Area was well represented; Bradley White of Oakland-based UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team was in that breakaway, with Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling) as the third man as the escapees made their way over the top of the first climb. By the crest of the second climb the peloton was there to swallow them up, and Geniez slumped in defeat as he was absorbed by the group. From there it was about the GC contenders, and race leader Peter Sagan had his team at the front of the bunch setting the pace. They refused to let up, and had Sagan in perfect position to lay down the blistering effort he did.
Santa Rosa's Team BMC had a mixed day, as they had a couple of racers suffer a late crash with about 5km left to go. George Hincapie was still at the front of the bunch, though, attempting to set up sprinter Greg Van Avermaet for the win. But, like everyone else, they had no match for Sagan's late surge. Hincapie is towards the top of the overall standings but insists he's working for the much younger Van Avermaet and has no desire to rekindle his rivalry with Fred Rodriguez, who is riding the tour for Team Xergy.
The GC Standings after stage two:
1. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale in 9:44:15
2. Heinrich Haussler, Garmin-Barracuda at :08
3. Leigh Howard, Orica-GreenEdge :13
4. Jeffry Louder, UnitedHealthcare at :14
5. Fred Rodriguez, Exergy at :16
6. Ben Jacques-Maynes, Bissell at :16
7. Marc De Maar, UnitedHealthcare at :17
8. Markel Irizar Aranburu, RadioShack-Nissan at :19
9. Joshua Atkins, Bontrager-Livestrong at :19
10. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing at :20
Stick with this storystream for updates, previews, results and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe is your source for quality news and analysis.