The fifth stage will see the central valley town of Visalia play host to the start for the second year in a row, but the riders will travel to Bakersfield this year, covering 195.5km with a mid-stage trip into the Sierra Nevada mountain foothills. It's no mountain stage, but there are a few tough ascents which will play into the hands of those battling for the KOM prize.
The first mountain sprint features a punishing 14% grade before the riders get some relief on the long, gradual descent to the Kern River oil field.
As they exit the valley they'll take in a second KOM before heading into Bakersfield where the organisers have devised a crafty 3-lap finishing circuit which could ruin the plans for the sprinters.
Containing a short climb of 10% which riders will encounter three times, it will be a prime launching pad for attacks, but with 2km left to go to the finish, it will take great fortitude for any escapee to hold off the sprinters.