SAN JOSE — George Hincapie of Greenville, S.C., used cohesive teamwork and a strong closing sprint to win Stage 2 and take a four-second lead in the Tour of California on Tuesday.
Hincapie, 32, a stage winner in the 2005 Tour de France who rides for Discovery Channel, finished the 94.4-mile road race from Monterey to San Jose in 4 hours 1 minute and 26 seconds.
With the 10-second bonus time he earned for the win, Hincapie, who started the stage in third place, took the overall lead from Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa.
Leipheimer, who won Sunday's prologue, had a five-second lead before Tuesday's stage.
The reigning Tour of Germany champion, Leipheimer finished fourth in the second stage and is second overall.
Bobby Julich (CSC) of Reno, who placed fifth in the stage, is third overall, trailing Hincapie by nine seconds.
"The stage wasn't too hard until the climb," said Hincapie, who won the 15th stage of last year's Tour de France. "But Sierra Road [a nine-mile climb] was definitely hard. I didn't know the hill, but it might have helped to know the climb a bit. It was a really tough, steep climb. It was never-ending."
Chris Horner of Bend, Ore., was second and Josep Jufre Puo of Spain third in Tuesday's stage.
Tour of California
George Hincapie claimed Stage 2 in the eight-day, 600-mile event that ends with a circuit race Sunday in Redondo Beach. A description of each stage:
* Stage 3, today: A 17-mile individual time trial on the outskirts of San Jose.
* Stage 4, Thursday: Stage begins in Monterey and finishes 130 miles later in San Luis Obispo.
* Stage 5, Friday: The race winds through the Central Coast and ends in Santa Barbara.
* Stage 6, Saturday: Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks.
* Stage 7, Sunday: Circuit race in Redondo Beach.