Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Peter Hymas
  1. 10:01:22 PDT

    Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California's stage 5, which takes racers 121.5 miles (195.5km) from Visalia to Bakersfield.

    Stage 5 will begin at 10:30 am local (Pacific) time, 15 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. Our Cyclingnews' live coverage will start just before the stage.

  2. 10:28:47 PDT

    Hello from sunny Visalia, California for the start of the Amgen Tour of California's fifth stage!


  3. 10:30:28 PDT

    Today's fifth stage will see the central valley town of Visalia play host to the start for the second year in a row, but unlike last year's stage which travelled 134.3 miles (216.1km) to Paso Robles, we'll be travelling 121.5 miles (195.5km) to Bakersfield, hosting a stage finish for the first time at the Amgen Tour of California.

    There is a 5.8 mile (9.4km) neutral section before the racing kicks off at kilometre 0 at Lovers Lane.

  4. 10:31:13 PDT

    Annnnnnd we're off!

  5. 10:34:15 PDT

    The mechanics are busy already as Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) needs service.

  6. 10:36:46 PDT

    Also, it seems that Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) is having issues with his radio. Best to get this all sorted out before the heat of competition.

    And as in the previous four stages, Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo is riding in the race caravan in a vehicle driven by Steve Hegg.

    The weather is gorgeous right now in Visalia: blue skies, temperatures in the 70s (Fahrenheit) and not a hint of wind.

  7. 10:40:47 PDT

    The peloton is currently halfway through the neutral section and is leaving downtown Visalia.

    Visalia is situated in the heart of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley, approximately 230 miles (370 km) southeast of San Francisco and 190 miles (310 km) north of Los Angeles.

    Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) is calling for service.

  8. 10:41:42 PDT

    There are two intermediate sprints on tap early in the stage at Lindsay (16.2 miles) and Porterville (30.4 miles), plus sprint points available at the finish in Bakersfield.

    Once the peloton finishes up with the two intermediate sprints, then it's time for a couple of KOM opportunities. The first climb is the category 3 Old Stage Road at 60.5 miles. At 3,345 ft/1020m it's the highest elevation the peloton has tackled thus far. The second KOM is the category 4 Round Mountain Rd. at 100.5 miles.

  9. 10:44:26 PDT

    Yesterday's 121.5 mile (195.5km) fourth stage from San Jose to Modesto ended up as day for the sprinters with Italy's Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas-Doimo) winning the dash to the line from JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) and stage one winner Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia).

    You can read the full account of stage four here.

  10. 10:48:19 PDT

    There's plenty of spectators on hand as the peloton continues through the neutral section in Visalia. Lance Armstrong is very popular with the children--there are plenty of  kids holding "Go Lance" and Livestrong signs and cheering enthusiastically.

  11. 10:50:15 PDT

    We're 5.4 miles into the neutral section, but a rider punctured while crossing some railroad tracks. Neutral will be exteneded as necessary until the rider is back in the peloton.

    The rider with the puncture is the leader of the mountains classification, Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefit Strategies). He's now made his return to the pack and we're officially off! It's time to race!

  12. 10:52:59 PDT

    For the opening miles of the stage it's totally flat in farm country. The peloton is speeding along at 28mph with the mountains in the distance hidden by haze.

    We have an attack by Jay Robert Thomson (Fly V Australia) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) but their time off the front was short-lived. The peloton is all together.

  13. 10:55:24 PDT

    The peloton is on a dead-straight, completely flat and wide-open stretch of road for approximately the next four miles.

  14. 10:56:53 PDT

    We have a crash! Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) is down along with riders from HTC-Columbia, BMC Racing, Fly V Australia and Rabobank.

    Medical assistance has been requested for Armstrong.

  15. 10:59:52 PDT

    The peloton was at mile 4 when the crash occurred and the peloton is slowing down to wait for the return of the riders taken down in the crash.

    Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) has just returned to the field. We're not sure if he went down.

    All riders are now up and moving, making their way through the caravan back to the peloton. Not a pleasant way to start out the day for those involved.

  16. 187.5km remaining from km

    11:01:04 PDT

    The peloton is at mile five and passing through orange groves.

  17. 11:02:34 PDT

    Bernhard Eisel (Team HTC-Columbia), Tony Martin (Team HTC-Columbia), Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank), Paul Mach (Bissell) and Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo Test Team) are all returning to the peloton.

  18. 11:04:36 PDT

    More riders are rejoining the peloton after the crash: Lars Ytting Bak (Team HTC-Columbia), Will Routley (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda), Marc De Maar (Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis), Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda) .

    Lance Armstrong is getting treated at the medical vehicle.

    The peloton is entering the town of Exeter and there are plenty of citrus-themed murals to see along the roadside.

  19. 11:07:30 PDT

    And we have still more riders making there way back to the peloton: Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo), Brian Vandborg (Liquigas-Doimo) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) .

    Sagan is the leader of the young rider classification.

    It's likely that the medical staff in the caravan will be having a busy day on the road today. From what we can tell the downed riders only suffered road rash and we hope there's nothing more serious than that.

  20. 182.7km remaining from km

    11:09:44 PDT

    We're at mile 8 and the peloton is still rolling along at an easy clip to allow the riders who crashed a chance to return.

    Jose Luis Rubiera (RadioShack) has just re-gained contact with the field.

  21. 11:11:28 PDT

    While the peloton is observing a temporary truce, let's take a look at the leaders of the Amgen Tour's classifications at the start of stage five.

    Firstly, David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) defended his leader's jersey yesterday and will year the yellow leader's jersey during stage 5. Here's the top-ten in general classification:

    1 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Transitions 18:04:35
    2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC-Columbia 0:00:04
    3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:06
    4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:21
    5 Marc De Maar (Ned) Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis 0:00:24
    6 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack 0:00:27
    7 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions
    8 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis
    9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Transitions
    10 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Transitions

    It's still rather clustered atop general classification with only 27 seconds separating the top 19 riders.

  22. 11:16:19 PDT

    After getting treatment at the race caravan's medical vehicle, Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) has now returned to the peloton.

    The peloton is passing some nice olive trees at the moment.

    There are still riders from Fly V Australia and Jelly Belly at the medical vehicle so there's a lull in the action up front.

    The Jelly Belly rider is waiting his turn while the Fly V Australia rider is treated. It seems the the medical crew is already running low on freeze spray. What a way to start the day!

  23. 11:18:16 PDT

    Bad news for Saxo Bank as Stuart O'Grady has just abandoned.

  24. 11:22:47 PDT

    The peloton is seeing the 5km to go banner for the day's first sprint in Lindsay at mile 16.2, but there's no racing at the moment as the field is still waiting for riders to regain contact from the crash.

  25. 11:24:24 PDT

    The peloton is currently spread out across the entire road with the Garmin-Transitions squad of race leader David Zabriskie at the front.

  26. 173.8km remaining from km

    11:25:36 PDT

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) has abandoned!

    The peloton is currently at mile 13.5 and not racing yet.

  27. 11:28:09 PDT

    It looks like the peloton is finally back together...riders are attacking and the pace has kicked up significantly to approximately 33mph.

  28. 11:29:23 PDT

    The peloton makes a hard left turn and has 1km to go to the first intermediate sprint. There's a two-man break containing a Quick Step and Rabobank rider.

  29. 11:29:53 PDT

    The two escapees have been caught as the peloton winds up for the first sprint.

  30. 11:30:38 PDT

    The road narrows significantly immediately after the sprint line, we hope the peloton makes it through safely.

  31. 11:35:02 PDT

    Here are the results for the first intermediate sprint in Lindsay at mile 16.2:

    1 Robert Hunter (Garmin-Transitions)
    2 Michael Rogers (Team HTC-Columbia)
    3 Mark Cavendish (Team HTC-Columbia)

  32. 166.6km remaining from km

    11:36:21 PDT

    The peloton is now at mile 18 and there are flurries of attacks going on. At the moment nothing is staying away. The wind isn't a factor right now and is making it harder to get away.

  33. 11:37:27 PDT

    The peloton is now entering the town of Strathmore and the Strathmore Bulldogs are outside their school--marching band and all--to cheer for the riders.

  34. 162.9km remaining from km

    11:42:24 PDT

    The peloton is all together at mile 20.3 and really moving along at a brisk clip on the flat terrain: 34mph.

    Looks like another casualty of the earlier crash as Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) has abandoned.

  35. 11:43:14 PDT

    We now have Rabobank's Maarten Tjallingii off the front with a single Quick Step rider in pursuit.

  36. 11:45:16 PDT

    Tjallingii was one of the riders who made an attack yesterday in the closing kilometres in a bid to foil the teams of the sprinters.

    Today's stage five is sponsored by Rabobank, and the Dutch ProTour team's riders surely would like to put in a good performance today.

    The Dutch team tried their luck yesterday, placing Lars Boom in the day-long break and then launching solo attacks in the stage finale from first Maarten Tjallingii and then Paul Martens after Boom was absorbed with approximately 7km to go.

    Bakersfield's major civic center, situated downtown, is called the Rabobank Arena as the Dutch bank has a contract for naming rights from 2005 through 2015.

  37. 155.3km remaining from km

    11:47:10 PDT

    The peloton is all back together at mile 25 as we begin to head into the hills. But before the real climbing commences today there's one more intermediate sprint at mile 30.4 in Porterville.

  38. 11:48:28 PDT

    Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) called for service and got a new wheel.

  39. 11:52:25 PDT

    The peloton is on a gentle climb and is being cheered on by a whole school bussed to the location. There's a band and cheerleaders providing plenty of noise and pep on the roadside.

  40. 11:53:26 PDT

    The peloton is making short work of the gradual ascent, climbing at 20mph, and will soon see the 5km to go banner for the upcoming intermediate sprint.

  41. 11:55:36 PDT

    And we have an attack!

    Tony Martin (Team HTC-Columbia), Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team) and Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo Test Team) are off the front with one unidentified rider in pursuit.

  42. 11:57:34 PDT

    There are big crowds cheering for the peloton in Porterville, which happens to be the hometown of the California Highway Patrol captain of the race.

  43. 11:58:07 PDT

    There's clouds of chalk dust kicked up as the there's 1km to go for the intermediate sprint.

  44. 12:01:22 PDT

    The break was caught in advance of the intermediate sprint. Here are the results for the day's 2nd intermediate sprint in Porterville:

    1 Karl Menzies (Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis)
    2 Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda)
    3 Paul Martens (Rabobank Cycling Team)

  45. 12:03:41 PDT

    Let's take a look at the sprint classification standings at the start of today's stage.

    Mark Cavendish leads the sprint classification with a seven-point advantage over yesterday's stage runner-up JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank). Here's the top ten in the sprint classification:

    1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia 31 pts
    2 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 24
    3 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 20
    4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 19
    5 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team 18
    6 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Transitions 15
    7 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo Test Team 15
    8 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 15
    9 Karl Menzies (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis 15
    10 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 14

    We've completed the two intermediate sprints and only have points remaining at the finish in Bakersfield.

  46. 12:06:11 PDT

    There's been a tornado of attacks following the intermediate sprint. Quick Step, Rabobank, Jelly Belly and Kelly Benefit Strategies have all been active but Garmin-Transitions has been keeping the peloton together.

    Again, Rabobank is on the attack but the elastic has yet to snap.

  47. 12:07:08 PDT

    Riders are utilizing a series of stair step hills to launch attacks, but as of yet nothing has stuck.

  48. 12:10:49 PDT

    Quick Step is now on the attack as their rider snakes all over the road. It looks like a break is having some success gaining some distance from the peloton.

  49. 12:12:11 PDT

    Three riders now have some breathing room off the front: Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank Cycling Team), Nikolas Maes (Quick Step) and Andrew Randell (SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy) .

    The peloton is currently on a false flat and will be pitching upwards into the hills shortly.

  50. 136km remaining from km

    12:13:52 PDT

    And just like that, the peloton is all back together at mile 37. The chemistry hasn't been right yet for those seeking to make the break of the day.

  51. 12:19:31 PDT

    There's a new break containing Mark Renshaw (Team HTC-Columbia), Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team), Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step), Paul Mach (Bissell), Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) and William Dickeson (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda).

    This could be it for the break of the day...The peloton took a group nature break and the six escapees now have a 42 second advantage.

  52. 127.9km remaining from km

    12:25:41 PDT

    This looks to be the break of the day. Our six leaders are at mile 42 and now hold a 2:45 advantage over the peloton.

    Jay Robert Thomson (Fly V Australia) has abandoned.

  53. 12:28:52 PDT

    The mountains classification has been hotly contested thus far in the Amgen Tour of California. Currently, 22-year-old Canadian Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefit Strategies) leads the competition. Here's the top-ten at the start of stage five:


    1 Ryan Anderson (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies 29 pts
    2 Thomas Rabou (Ned) Team Type 1 26
    3 Karl Menzies (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Presented by Maxxis 22
    4 Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Type 1 20
    5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 11
    6 Robert Britton (Can) Bissell 11
    7 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Fly V Australia 11
    8 Eric Boily (Can) SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy 11
    9 Andrew Randell (Can) SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy 10
    10 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Team Radioshack 9

    There are two KOMs in stage five, the category 3 Old Stage Road ascent at mile 60.5 and the category 4 Round Mountain Road at mile 100.5. There's 6,5,4,3,1 points up for grabs at the category 3 climb and 4,3,2,1 points for the category 4 ascent.

    Will the jersey remain with Kelly Benefit Strategies? Change hands? We'll find out soon enough today...

  54. 12:33:54 PDT

    The peloton is now on Old Stage Road and will soon begin ascending to the first KOM which tops out at 3,345 ft (1020m), the high point of the race thus far. The riders will be on this road for approximately the next 22 miles.

  55. 12:38:51 PDT

    The six-man break's lead is now at 4:15 as the Garmin-Transitions-led peloton reaches the feed zone. The gap will likely grow some more as the field stocks up on food and bottles.

    Paul Mach (Bissell), one of the members of the break, has just lost a teammate as Daniel Holloway has abandoned.

  56. 12:47:22 PDT

    Paul Mach (Bissell) started the day in 25th overall, 1:49 behind leader David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions), so he's now our race leader on the road.

    Grischa Niermann (Rabobank) trails overall by 4:38, Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) by 11:18, Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) and Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step) are each 33:54 back while William Dickeson (Jelly Belly) trails Zabriskie by 37:04.

  57. 111.8km remaining from km

    12:53:54 PDT

    Our six leaders are at mile 52 and have stretched their lead out to 5:00 over the peloton.

    It's pretty remote countryside here as we climb gradually into the hills past the occasional horse farm. It's pretty barren terrain with the a smattering of scrubby trees.

    Paul Mach (Bissell) has been setting the pace for his fellow breakaway companions.

  58. 107km remaining from km

    13:08:31 PDT

    The six leaders are now at mile 55 and hold a 6:25 lead over the peloton, which equates to approximately 2 miles of separation between the two groups.

    The trees are getting more abundant as the climb progresses. The ascent thus far has been fairly gradual and this climb is one which looks worse on the profile than in real life. We don't think sprinters such as Mark Cavendish should have much trouble making their way over the top in the peloton.

    And even if riders get gapped off, there's plenty of time to catch back on as the summit is only half way through the stage.

  59. 13:16:40 PDT

    Let's meet our riders currently off the front.

    Mark Renshaw (Team HTC-Columbia) is a 27-year-old Australian in his 8th year as a professional. He's in his second season with HTC-Columbia and previously rode for the French teams Credit Agricole and Francais des Jeux.

    He's perhaps best known as teammate Mark Cavendish's preferred final lead-out man, which makes his appearance in the break rather curious. Since he's got the speed to be the rider responsible for turning Cavendish loose in the finale, he's no slouch in his own right at the end of a race and has taken victories in the Circuit Franco-Belge, the Tour Down Under, the Tour de Picardie and the Tro-Bro Leon over the years.

    The Australian also has three Grand Tour finishes under his belt, finishing all three Grand Tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana) once each.

  60. 13:25:08 PDT

    The break is currently 1km from the first KOM at mile 60.5.

    Back in the peloton, meanwhile, things are splitting up under the impetus of RadioShack. There's a lead chase of approximately 25 riders, 6:30 behind the breakaway. There's another group of maybe 17 riders another 40 seconds behind.

  61. 13:33:24 PDT

    Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team) is a 34-year-old German who has been with Rabobank since 1999. He won the Niedersachsen-Rundfahrt in 2001 and is a veteran of 11 Grand Tours. He's finished all three Grand Tours at least once, with his best placing at 22nd overall in the 2002 Giro d'Italia.

  62. 13:37:24 PDT

    We have results for the first KOM at Old Stage Rd., a category 3 climb at mile 60.5:

    1 Paul Mach (Bissell)
    2 Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team)
    3 Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step)
    4 William Dickeson (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda)
    5 Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia)

    The yellow jersey group crossed the KOM 4:30 behind the break with the next group on the road cresting the top 25 seconds later.

    The terrain flattens out some after the KOM so we expect a re-groupiing in the splits in the peloton.

  63. 13:38:45 PDT

    There are approximately six RadioShack riders in the yellow jersey group of leader David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions). US national champion is also one of the riders who made the selection but at the moment we don't know the complete composition.

  64. 13:41:28 PDT

    While we've just crossed the high point of today's stage, it's appropriate to mention an interesting fact about the finishing city.

    Bakersfield has quite a significant population of Basques, and the city boasts having one of the USA's largest concentration of Basque restaurants.

    Coming up shortly on the Memorial Day weekend holiday, there's also the Kern County Basque Festival in Bakersfield. The event features food, music, dance, and handball games, but it looks like cycling doesn't play a part. Perhaps Euskaltel-Euskadi will one day make the trip to the Amgen Tour of California?

  65. 86.1km remaining from km

    13:43:43 PDT

    The lead group of six is working well together and currently have a 4:20 lead over the yellow jersey group at mile 68.

  66. 13:48:58 PDT

    Let's meet another of our riders off the front in the lead six-man break.

    Kurt Hovelynck is a 28-year-old Belgian in his second year at Quick Step. He's been a professional since 2004 and says his favourite races are the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

  67. 13:57:34 PDT

    The break is now at mile 73 and holds a 4:45 lead over the yellow jersey chase group. We're still awaiting confirmation as to the exact size and composition of the lead group of chasers.

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) is in a group nine minutes down and with him in that group is Ryan Anderson (Kelly Benefit Strategies).

  68. 72.5km remaining from km

    14:02:51 PDT

    The break has a lead of 4:25 with 72.5km to go to the finish in Bakersfield.

    There appears to be a chase group of approximately 30 riders in the first chase group containing the race leader David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions).

  69. 126km remaining from km

    14:06:42 PDT

    Just a recap of the riders off the front...We have Mark Renshaw (Team HTC-Columbia), Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team), Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step), Paul Mach (Bissell), Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) and William Dickeson (Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda).

  70. 14:11:17 PDT

    Another of our break's riders is Paul Mach (Bissell).

    We received an email from Erik who states "Not only is Paul Mach leader of the TOC on the road, but not too long ago he was a PhD student at UC Davis studying mathematics working on computational geometry related protein folding problems".

    Mach was in the break on the Amgen Tour of California's opening stage and was the first rider to lead the mountains classification.

    Mach is 28-years-old, resides in Davis, California, and is in his second year as a professional.

  71. 60km remaining from km

    14:16:13 PDT

    Ben Day (Fly V Australia) has dropped to his team car as the break now has 60km to go to the finish.

    The Mark Cavendish group is the third on the road after the break and the yellow jersey group. The Manxman and company are now 9:40 behind the six escapees.

  72. 58km remaining from km

    14:24:20 PDT

    Let's meet another rider in our six-man lead group.

    Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) is a 31-year-old Australian and has been a professional since 2002. Prior to his current squad he's raced for Matesica-Aboboda, Carvalhelhos-Boavista, Mr.Bookmaker.com-Palmans, Caravhelhos-Boavista, Navigators Insurance Pro Cycling Team and Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team.

    Day has been the Australian time trial champion, has won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games, and has won Canada's Tour de Beauce stage race.


  73. 53.6km remaining from km

    14:26:34 PDT

    The break is working well together and holds a 4:45 advantage over the yellow jersey group with 53.6km remaining in the stage.

    It looks like the overall favourites have made the selection in the Zabriskie group. We've seen Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo), Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) this far.

  74. 14:30:46 PDT

    The Giro d'Italia, of course, is going on concurrently with the Amgen Tour of California. Today the peloton faced the 206km 12th stage between Citta Sant'Angelo and Porto Recanti.

    You can check out the full results, report and photos from the stage here.

  75. 14:36:10 PDT

    When the peloton arrives at the finish in Bakersfield there will be a 3.6 mile finishing circuit to be completed twice.

    The circuit packs a bit of a punch as it contains a short climb of 10% which riders will encounter three times (once on the way in to the finish and then twice on the circuits)

    It will be a prime launching pad for attacks and we'll see how the sprinters fare against the challenge. It may be a day for someone like Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) who has quite a sprint, but can get over the climbs as well.

  76. 154.6km remaining from km

    14:41:54 PDT

    The break's lead has dipped below four minutes to 3:50 to the Zabriskie group.

    Fly V Australia and Garmin-Transitions is setting tempo in the yellow jersey group.

  77. 14:44:49 PDT

    Cyclingnews' Kirsten Frattini is at the finish in Bakersfield and provides additional information about the finishing circuit.

    "It's very sunny here with lots of people out to watch.

    "The climb on the finishing circuit is much more decisive than we had expected and there is a long uphill drag before the field even gets to the hill. Once they climb the hill, they make a right hand turn and see 500 metres to the finish line."

  78. 14:46:53 PDT

    The break is getting close to the day's second KOM which occurs at mile 100.5.

  79. 14:47:35 PDT

    Renshaw and Day are tucked in at the back of the break on the ascent.

  80. 14:49:20 PDT

    Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step) is leading the break as they now have 2km to to until the KOM.

  81. 14:51:14 PDT

    Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) is having some fun with a RadioShack rider in the Zabriskie group. He was holding onto his seat while they were climbing.

  82. 34.9km remaining from km

    14:52:16 PDT

    Ben Day (Fly V Australia) has just attacked the break near the KOM and Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) has joined him.

  83. 14:54:54 PDT

    The terrain is rather barren and full of oil wells. We're in Kern County, home of the famous Kern River Oil Field.

    Ben Day has crossed the KOM ahead of Renshaw.

  84. 33km remaining from km

    14:55:38 PDT

    Garmin-Transitions is now at the head of the field which trails the break by 2:30.

  85. 14:59:04 PDT

    Results of the day's second KOM, the category 4 Round Mountain Rd. at mile 100.5:

    1 Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia)
    2 Mark Renshaw (Team HTC-Columbia)
    3 Paul Mach (Bissell)
    4 Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step)

  86. 167km remaining from km

    15:00:55 PDT

    Day and Renshaw are flying down the descent off the KOM. The roads are smooth, slightly twisting and devoid of guard rails.

  87. 24.5km remaining from km

    15:04:59 PDT

    The original break is now back together at the head of affairs. The escape of Day and Renshaw has been neutralised.

    The break's lead is now 3:05 with 24.5km to go.

  88. 15:06:04 PDT

    Thomas Rabou (Team Type 1) has flatted on the descent and is getting a new front wheel.

  89. 175km remaining from km

    15:10:48 PDT

    The Fly V Australia team car is alongside Ben Day, providing him with some sustenance to see him through the end of the stage.

    Renshaw, too, is getting some gel from the HTC-Columbia team car.

  90. 19.5km remaining from km

    15:11:48 PDT

    William Dickeson (Jelly Belly) has been droped from the break.

  91. 18.7km remaining from km

    15:13:39 PDT

    Dickeson has regained contact with the break and just as he gets on Mark Renshaw goes on the attack.

  92. 16.9km remaining from km

    15:16:30 PDT

    The break has lost all cohesion. It was ripped to pieces by Renshaw's attack, but now it's all back together.

    And just as they all regroup Hovelynck (Quick Step) launches an attack.

    The break's lead is now down to 1:50.

  93. 15.5km remaining from km

    15:18:08 PDT

    The three ProTour riders in the break, Renshaw, Niermann and Hovelynck, are now together and have been joined by Ben Day.

  94. 14km remaining from km

    15:20:39 PDT

    Renshaw, Day, Niermann and Hovelynck are now rotating at the head of affairs and hold a 1:45 lead with 14km remaining.

  95. 12.3km remaining from km

    15:24:29 PDT

    Good on Mach and Dickeson as the pair have rejoined their break companions to once again form a lead group of six.

  96. 15:26:31 PDT

    The break is approaching the finish line and will start their first of two circuits. That climb to the finish is going to hurt with two more ascents on tap.

    The break holds a 1:02 lead over the peloton with two finishing circuits to go.

  97. 10km remaining from km

    15:28:31 PDT

    The six leaders now have 10km to go and their lead is at exactly one minute over the Zabriskie group, containing approximately 40 riders.

  98. 8.5km remaining from km

    15:30:32 PDT

    Another attack in the break, this time from Will Dickeson, but they're back together and looking at each other.

    The chasers are now only 40 seconds back.

  99. 7.5km remaining from km

    15:32:44 PDT

    The break is once again climbing up toward the finish line and has splintered.

    Day is alone in the lead and followed by Renshaw while the peloton is only 25 seconds back.

  100. 15:33:42 PDT

    Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) has attacked out of the field!

  101. 5.3km remaining from km

    15:34:16 PDT

    Ben Day (Fly V Australia) has one more finishing circuit to go and is alone in the lead.

  102. 4.1km remaining from km

    15:35:45 PDT

    Day is catching his breath in a tuck on the descent with Voigt in pursuit.

  103. 15:37:05 PDT

    Voigt has been caught by the field and only Ben Day is off the front.

  104. 15:38:01 PDT

    Liquigas is leading the charge and has the field strung out single file. Garmin-Transitions is tucked in behind Liquigas.

    Day has about an 8-second lead.

  105. 15:39:08 PDT

    Day is caught at the base of the climb on the finishing circuit and Garmin-Transitions leads the charge.

  106. 1km remaining from km

    15:40:06 PDT

    HTC-Columbia leads under the red kite.

  107. 15:41:44 PDT

    HTC-Columbia leads out the sprint at 500m to go.

    Dave Zabriskie attacks!

  108. 15:42:58 PDT

    Zabriskie went too soon and was brought back by Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia).

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas) flew off their wheels and took the stage victory!

  109. 15:44:35 PDT

    So provisionally we have Sagan in first, Rogers in second and Zabriskie in third.

    Rogers only trailed Zabriskie by two seconds after picking up some bonus seconds earlier in the day so the general classification will be tight.

  110. 15:54:53 PDT

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) ended the day tied on time, and the yellow jersey now passes to Rogers.

  111. 16:07:04 PDT

    Provisional Results

    1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
    2 Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia
    3 Dave Zabriskie (USA) Gamin-Transitions
    4 Chris Horner (USA) Team Radioshack
    5 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
    6 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Columbia
    7 Levi Leopheimer (USA) Team Radioshack
    8 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions

    General Classification after Stage 5

    1 Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia
    2 Dave Zabriskie (USA) Gamin-Transitions
    3 Levi Leopheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:10
    4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:15

  112. 16:12:55 PDT

    That wraps up our Cyclingnews' live coverage for stage 5. Please join us again for live coverage for stage 6 tomorrow (Friday). The peloton faces the most difficult stage of the Amgen Tour of California, the 135.3 mile (217.7km) trek from Pasadena to Big Bear Lake.

    Due to the long day in the saddle, the race will start at 9:30 am local (Pacific) time, and we'll begin live coverage just before that.

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