Gerald Ciolek claimed the leader's gold jersey at the Tour of Britain after sprinting to victory on stage two as English rider Simon Yates moved up to second overall by finishing an impressive fourth.
Ciolek followed an attack from Sam Bennett at the bottom of the short but steep climb to the finish line in Kendal and then out-powered his young Irish rival to take a comfortable win and the maximum ten bonus seconds.
Yates, 21, who is a world champion on the track, was one of a number of riders who set off in pursuit on the Beast Banks ascent and after finishing six seconds down on Ciolek, he now trails the German by 20 seconds in the general classification.
His outstanding display overshadowed more senior Britons such as Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and follows a fruitful summer in which he won two stages of the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir in France.
Wiggins finished 17 seconds down in 18th place after being involved in a high-speed crash earlier in the day, and he now lies 12th overall, 30 seconds behind Ciolek.
Ciolek, of MTN-Qhubeka, said afterwards: "We are a really young and inexperienced team, so our expectations weren't so big, but now we have the gold jersey and a stage win. It is just great."
The 186.6km day, which started in Carlisle, was once again played out in torrential rain, but was illuminated by a pulsating ascent of the revered Honister Pass just over 60km from home.
Hundreds of fans defied the dreadful conditions to line the Lake District climb - which had a river of water running down its brutal 25 per cent ramps - and were rewarded by a thrilling attack from Ireland's Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
The duo broke clear of a Team Sky-led peloton at the foot of the pass and swiftly opened up a healthy gap with a superb climbing display, before stretching it out further on the descent down the equally treacherous opposite flank.
Lofkvist goes clear
They soon caught up with what was left of the day's seven-man breakaway, which included Britain's Jon Dibben, and then continued on into the lead, taking Quintana's Movistar team-mate Angel Madrazo, who had been in the escape, with them.
The trio opened up a maximum gap of 50 seconds on the peloton, but with Team Sky driving the chase, they were comfortably outgunned on the rolling terrain and were eventually caught 36km from home.
Enrique Sanz (Movistar), Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox) and even Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) all subsequently tried and failed with lone attacks, before Thomas Lofkvist (IAM Cycling) finally succeeded in escaping the pack and staying clear.
The Swede made his move 10km out but despite retaining a small lead heading on to Beast Banks, he was unable to hold off Ciolek and Bennett (An Post - Chainreaction) and had to settle for third place.
Stage two result
1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka, 5:01:01
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) AN Post - Chainreaction, same time
3 Thomas Lofkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling, +6secs
4 Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain, st
5 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
6 Jack Bauer (NZ) Garmin-Sharp, +9
7 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling, st
8 Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, st
9 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka, st
10 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
12 Dan Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp, +12
18 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +17
27 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, st
35 Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar, st
47 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +47
1 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
2 Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain, +20secs
3 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep, same time
4 Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, +23
5 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka, st
6 Juilen Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
7 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling, st
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox,
9 Scott Thwaites (GBr) NetApp-Endura, +26
10 Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, st
11 Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp, + 26
12 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +30
19 Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar, +31
36 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +51
- Blue and white jersey (points classification): Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka)
- Green polka dot jersey (mountains classification): Angel Madrazo (Movistar)
- Green and red jersey (intermediate sprints competition): Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox)