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Amgen Tour of California 2011

Date range:
May 15-22, 2011

May 17, Stage 3: Auburn - Modesto 196.2km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews's live coverage from the Amgen Tour of California. You join us for stage 3 from Auburn to Modesto.

  1. 18:19:42 BST

    Another day in the saddle for the field here in California but we've got a slightly delayed start, the bunch now set to start at 10:25PST.

  2. 18:20:50 BST

    As for conditions, we'll it's hardly ideal, in fact it's more in liking with Belgium. 10C and spitting rain in Auburn.

  3. 18:21:11 BST

    Stage three could present another day for the sprinters with a relatively flat to undulating 196.2 kilometre route beginning in Auburn and ending in Modesto. Opportunistic sprinters will have a chance to contest three Herbal Life intermediate sprints for points located in Folson, Ione and Oakdale at kilometre 30, 80 and 160 respectively. The peloton will continue along flat to undulating roads into the finishing circuits in Modesto.

  4. 18:22:22 BST

    We spoke to GC contender Chris Horner and here's what the 39-year-old had to say.

  5. 18:22:48 BST

    Horner:

    "Stage three will definitely be the first time that a breakaway could possibly go the distance. Another factor could be the cross winds. If it is really windy that day, strong cross winds could cause splits in the field on the way into Modesto. It is a day that could give a breakaway a chance at making it to the line. However, I would bet more money on the sprinter teams being able to bring all the breakaways back, unless the cross winds are really strong."

     

  6. 18:25:08 BST

    Laura Weislo is at the start  for CN and says that they have a very complicated 7.6km neutral circuit out of Auburn and that at the Bernhard Museum, they have kids dressed up in frontier costumes.

  7. 18:26:25 BST

    Yesterday we saw a break go up the road consisting of US domestic teams. We'll surely see something similar again today.

  8. 18:30:17 BST

    It's certainly not going to be a day off for the GC contenders. The cross winds, mixed with so many teams using the opening part of the stage to form a break means we could see fireworks from the very off.

  9. 18:33:08 BST

    We really need an umbrella icon for showers. Either way, it's still spitting here at the start. Only light showers mind you.

  10. 18:34:01 BST

    Useful fact to impress your friends with today: Auburn is Chris Jones of UHC's home town.

  11. 18:35:40 BST

    So we're off. The riders have started today's stage. They're 2.2miles into neutral, they've got one more go around and then head out to the course for the start of racing.

  12. 18:36:28 BST

    Mike Friedman (KBS) was annoyed yesterday that the WorldTour teams basically made a blockade when the break went and basically ended the racing from the peloton. He said it's bullshit and he intends to break their stranglehold today.

  13. 18:38:26 BST

    Mike Tamayo (UHC DS) said that yesterday was hard because the riders had come down from altitude and everyone was a bit foggy, and with the short stage and rain it was chaotic. He said his guys had the legs, and they were in the race, but they just had some miscommunication and it didn't work out. But he's optimistic for today that Forster can get a results.

  14. 18:38:41 BST

    They're coming up the hill on the way out of Auburn approaching 0km

  15. 18:40:10 BST

    Downtown Auburn was pretty packed with fans - one booth was serving a full breakfast with eggs and bacon for $5. Nice little town - a smattering of spectators on the way out.

  16. 18:41:04 BST

    There was some miscommunication right now as to whether or not we're racing - riders are cruising at neutral pace and are now just getting the message that they're racing.

  17. 18:41:44 BST

    • Attack

    It's pretty clear now. We've got attacks all over the road.

  18. 18:43:01 BST

    And we've already got a group of 7 riders off the front of the bunch. We predicted this would happen. Could we already have the day's break?

  19. 18:45:22 BST

    Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta and Alexander Gottfried (Team Netapp), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Phillip Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)

    Just a small gap for now but they're doing 35mph.

  20. 18:46:32 BST

    James Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home) the most courageous rider in the race yesterday is also in the group.

     

  21. 18:46:54 BST

    Meanwhile a Jelly Belly rider has a flat.

  22. 18:47:25 BST

    SRAM neutral support is behind the break, still not big enough of a gap for the team cars to move forward.

  23. 18:48:25 BST

    The leaders have 40 seconds.

  24. 18:50:56 BST

    First sprint is in Folsom, $1000 one-place prime for first rider there. Rider 156 back in the field after his flat.

  25. 18:51:23 BST

    The leaders have a minute on the bunch.

  26. 18:53:03 BST

    Now that we're out of the suburbs the bunch have stopped for a nature break. That means we've got our break of the day. Unless we get a counter attack going.

  27. 18:54:33 BST

    Want confirmation that we've got our break for the day? Well the team cars have just moved up to the leaders on the road. The gap has gone up slightly, it's 1:24

  28. 18:58:16 BST

    And by the way, if you want to know the result from today's Giro stage, click here.

  29. 18:58:48 BST

    We've raced 9.5 miles and the break looks good. Still over a minute ahead of the field at the last time check.

  30. 19:00:23 BST

    Laura Weislo has is in the convoy and made it up the break. "Spitting rain, on dry roads for now. It's on and off with the rain. Riders are all taking even pulls as we kind of roll up and down through some rural areas."

  31. 19:00:58 BST

    And she seems to have inspired them to pedal faster. The gap is now 2;15

  32. 19:03:31 BST

    I dont know what Laura is saying to the riders in the break but it's certainly having an affect. The gap is now 2:45

  33. 19:05:07 BST

    The break is heading through a town with lots of fans cheering. Rain starting to fall more heavily. Gap 2:50

  34. 19:06:40 BST

    the break pass a construction zone "Putting America to work" it says. But there are no people working today.

  35. 19:06:51 BST

    Except the breakaway of course - they're working pretty hard as the terrain is constantly undulating.

  36. 19:08:06 BST

    The bunch is stopping to put on their jackets. The gap is going to go up by another minute or two now.

  37. 19:10:02 BST

    And we've got confirmation that Mike Creed is in the break too.

  38. 19:11:16 BST

    Not sure how we missed Creed there. Creed of course formerly of Cref, Rock Racing and Type1.

  39. 19:12:49 BST

    So to confirm Gottried is not in the break.

  40. 19:13:00 BST

    On a four lane highway inside 5km to the sprint.

  41. 19:13:47 BST

    They're all working well, all doing their turns on the front and sharing the pace. The bunch are still not racing.

  42. 19:14:37 BST

    We're 1km from the sprint and we've got some big crowds out on the roads. Fans are really turning out in big numbers to see their favourite riders.

  43. 19:15:09 BST

    Creed leads the break through a tight left turn and Barta doesnt' like it too much.

  44. 19:15:42 BST

    Barta lost a little bit of ground there and he's chasing back on. He should be fine. Second day in a row his team have had someone in the break.

  45. 19:17:48 BST

    NetApp is the correct spelling of the team name by the way. Not Netapp as our live situation on the right hand side says. We'll fix that for tomorrow but for now, please remember it's NetApp.

  46. 19:18:46 BST

    By the way we've upload 72 photos from this Giro stage and you can check them out here.

  47. 19:19:21 BST

    1. Barta 2. Gaimon 3. Andy Jacques-Maynes

    Are the results from the first sprint. Barta is still up the road on his own.

  48. 19:19:38 BST

    Now he looks around and realizes he's on his own, sits up and waits.

  49. 19:20:29 BST

    The line wasn't really very clear on the line so I think he just kept on sprinting and sprinting. Either way he's picked up maximum points.

  50. 19:23:39 BST

    We've covered 18.6 miles.

  51. 19:25:08 BST

    If you want to know more about Creed. Click here.

  52. 19:25:38 BST

    Quite a bit of wind now, it's really picking up and the break are working really hard.

  53. 19:27:51 BST

    The break has 5 minutes on the bunch. That's not bad at all. They'll need a lot more of course but they're steadily building a gap.

  54. 19:28:29 BST

    And without further delay I'm going to hand over to Peter Hymas for the rest of today's stage.

  55. 19:31:32 BST

    It's wide open here, with plenty of wind plus rain.

    There's no trees around to block the headwind which Laura Weislo describes as "howling".

  56. 19:32:08 BST

    There's a left turn coming up which will switch the wind to a crosswind...time to echelon!

  57. 19:33:22 BST

    And there's now a right turn, headwind again for the riders.

  58. 19:37:00 BST

    We've passed a spectator holding up a sign saying "Sorry about the weather". The rain is really coming down hard now.

  59. 19:39:26 BST

    There's plenty of calls on race radio as riders are requesting additional clothing from their team cars.

    Rain jackets are being donned.

  60. 19:39:52 BST

    The break continues to work well together and has pushed their advantage out to 6:10.

  61. 19:41:19 BST

    At the head of the peloton is the familiar figure of Bert Grabsch (HTC-Highroad) setting tempo, likely at low rpms in a huge gear.

  62. 19:42:16 BST

    At least he can keep his white kit a bit cleaner without all that spray being kicked up in the peloton behind him.

  63. 19:43:17 BST

    We're in cattle country now, and while we can't see them our noses can detect their presence.

  64. 19:44:42 BST

    There's been  plenty of turns, back and forth along the route thus far. It would be an ideal parcours for splitting the peloton if one was so inclined, but for now there's no action in the bunch.

  65. 19:47:00 BST

    As a reminder, here's how the GC looks after yesterday's stage from Nevada City to Sacramento:

    1 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling 2:47:02
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:04
    3 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:06
    4 Kevin Lacombe (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10 0:00:10
    5 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard
    6 Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Arg) Jamis - Sutter Home
    7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    8 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
    9 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
    10 Shawn Milne (USA) Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder
    11 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling
    12 Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth
    13 Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
    14 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team
    15 Frank Kevin Pipp (USA) Bissell Cycling
    16 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack
    17 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp
    18 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard Trek
    19 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    20 Ken Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda

  66. 19:49:05 BST

    Swift also leads the sprint classification, while Sagan tops the young rider's classification, familiar territory for the young Liquigas-Cannondale rider.

  67. 19:50:14 BST

    The peloton's yet to tackle any classified climbs, and there are none on tap for today's stage, so the KOM classification has yet to be awarded.

  68. 151.2km remaining from 196.2km

    19:51:49 BST

    The road is like a ribbon draped over the grassy, lumpy landscape.

    The Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth team car is on the side of the road, waiting for the peloton to catch up. It was behind the break supporting Creed.

  69. 19:53:20 BST

    Team Sky, Liquigas-Cannondale and HTC-Highroad are all contributing riders to the pace-making at the front of the peloton.

    The break's lead is now 6:45, still edging up.

  70. 19:56:28 BST

    Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) is providing us with live telemetry from within the race. You can follow his data stream here.

  71. 19:57:22 BST

    There's still some rain coming down, but it's eased back in intensity. The temperature is currently 52 degrees F.

  72. 20:00:16 BST

    The Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth team car has concluded its business in the field and is now rocketing up the road to position itself behind Michael Creed in the break.

    Team director Jonas "Leadfoot" Carney is likely not observing the local speed limit, but the roads are closed.

  73. 20:03:03 BST

    On paper today appears to be another day for the sprinters. One of the likely candidates for victory is Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), runner-up yesterday in Sacramento.

    His teammate Daniel Oss stated before today's stage, "Peter Sagan is the best in our team, so we'll ride for him."

  74. 20:03:59 BST

    Three-time world champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) expects a bunch sprint in Modesto today, but stated that with the wind and rain it will be a hard stage.

  75. 20:06:53 BST

    Canadian Pro Continental squad Team Spidertech Powered By C10 is contributing to the pace-making in the peloton.

    Kevin Lacombe was the first sprinter to jump in yesterday's field sprint finale and he was only passed in the final 20m by Swift, Sagan and Goss

    They'll certainly have another go at it today

  76. 138.2km remaining from 196.2km

    20:07:37 BST

    The break is currently 58km into the stage and their lead is stabilising at 6:40.

  77. 20:10:08 BST

    The rain is once again picking up in intensity. The team cars have been very busy thus far distributing wet weather gear to their respective riders.

  78. 20:12:20 BST

    William Dugan (Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis) has paced teammate Also Ino Ilesic back to the peloton after the Slovenian suffered a flat.

    There will be plenty of work for mechanics today with the inclement weather, both during and after the stage.

  79. 20:13:36 BST

    There's a Red Cross helicopter parked at a dicey turn up ahead. Hopefully their services won't be required today and at all during the Amgen Tour of California.

  80. 20:14:21 BST

    Rory Sutherland, UnitedHealthcare's GC contender, has suffered a front flat. No panic as he gets that taken care of.

  81. 20:15:02 BST

    Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) has a flat, too.

  82. 20:20:28 BST

    There are two more intermediate sprints on tap today, at 80.4km in Ione and 160.7km in Oakdale. Each offers bonus seconds of 3, 2, and 1 respectively for the first three across.

  83. 20:20:56 BST

    There's also 10, 6 and 4-second bonuses at the finish for the top three on the stage.

  84. 129.2km remaining from 196.2km

    20:22:31 BST

    We're 67km into the 196.2km stage, the first full day of racing at this year's Amgen Tour of California.

  85. 20:23:47 BST

    As a reminder, we have these seven riders off the front: Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), James Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) and Phillip Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)
     

  86. 20:24:40 BST

    They're working smoothly together, currently rolling through grassy plains evoking a Kansas-esque vibe.

  87. 20:27:28 BST

    And World Champion Thor Hushovd has flatted. No worries, though, he should be back in the peloton shortly.

  88. 126.2km remaining from 196.2km

    20:31:12 BST

    The break's now at 70km, tapping out the tempo.

  89. 20:36:31 BST

    If the Amgen Tour of California had a "Fuga Pinarello" classification then Jamey Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home) would be well on his way to leading the competition. The "Fuga Pinarello" classification keeps track of the total amount of kilometres a rider spends on the attack in breaks, and thus far Driscoll is 2-for-2 regarding making the day's decisive move.

  90. 20:37:36 BST

    And speaking of the Giro d'Italia, you can read all about today's action in stage 10 here.

  91. 20:38:38 BST

    The break is getting close to the day's second intermediate sprint in Ione. They're currently 5km out.

  92. 20:44:41 BST

    Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) is the highest place rider on GC in the break. He started the day in 54th overall, 21 seconds down. He's since picked up one bonus second for the first sprint.

    The break's advantage is holding steady at 6:40

  93. 20:46:18 BST

    There's quite an art to driving in race caravans.

  94. 20:50:47 BST

    The break has gone through the intermediate sprint line in Ione. Results:

    1. Jan Barta (NetApp)
    2. Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare)
    3. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)

  95. 20:52:21 BST

    Barta leapt off the front of the break and was pursued by Meier with the Czech rider again crossing the line first. The break has regrouped after the sprint and is once again sharing the workload.

  96. 20:53:59 BST

    • Feed

    Lunch time for the break as they roll through the feed zone.

  97. 21:01:30 BST

    The stiff headwind plus a slightly late start has put today's stage behind the slowest estimated schedule, which is calculated at an average speed of 38.6km/hr.

  98. 21:06:09 BST

    The Jackson Valley Vineyard is open for wine tasting. Not sure if there are hand-ups for the riders. Maybe a quick stop for team vehicles.

  99. 21:10:39 BST

    It's pretty remote countryside at the moment, with the occasional old house left over from the gold rush days.

  100. 21:11:01 BST

    Break holding steady at 6:30 over the peloton.

  101. 21:14:40 BST

    Regarding the little kerfuffle earlier between the UnitedHealthcare and BMC team cars, it seems it was a bit more involved than a mere love tap on the bumper.

    Apparently the BMC crew had to tear off their dangling front bumper while UnitedHealthcare DS Mike Tamayo had to take care of a deployed airbag. Tamayo popped it and has secured the remains to the steering wheel with duct tape.

  102. 21:14:48 BST

    Stay safe, guys!

  103. 21:17:08 BST

    There's still a light rain to go along with the stiff headwind. Not exactly a pleasant day in the saddle for the peloton.

  104. 21:23:31 BST

    The break has passed the half-way point of today's 196.2km stage from Auburn to Modesto and the gap has dropped to 5:15 over the peloton.

  105. 21:24:34 BST

    And as a reminder, these are our seven escapees today: Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), James Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) and Phillip Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)
     

  106. 21:26:00 BST

    Team Sky, Garmin-Cervelo, HTC-Highroad and Team RadioShack all have riders contributing to the chase effort in the peloton.

  107. 21:26:47 BST

    And the chase is on. The ProTour squads have stretched the field out single file as the gap drops to 4:55.

  108. 21:28:16 BST

    Race leader Ben Swift is tucked comfortably in line behind his Sky teammates.

  109. 21:40:38 BST

    Team Sky at the front of the peloton, with the break's lead at 4:25.

  110. 21:46:20 BST

    We've had a rider take a tumble into a ditch in the peloton - Matt Busche (RadioShack). He's back up and on his bike.

  111. 80.2km remaining from 196.2km

    21:47:19 BST

    The seven-man break is at km 116.

  112. 21:48:04 BST

    Linus Gerdemann (Leopard Trek) was also involved in the crash and he, too, is back in the peloton along with Busche.

  113. 21:49:09 BST

    Up in the break, Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) is speaking with his DS in the team car.

  114. 21:51:50 BST

    There's a British flag proudly flying roadside for leader Ben Swift.

    The break's advantage is now at 4:00.

  115. 21:54:50 BST

    Ouch! Jesus Del Nero (NetApp) has gone down. Slow to get up.

  116. 21:55:27 BST

    Del Nero is up on is feet and talking to team staff and race doctor.

  117. 21:56:16 BST

    Phillip Gaimon (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) has slipped off the back of the break.

     

  118. 73.5km remaining from 196.2km

    21:57:26 BST

    The remaining riders in the break have a lead of 3:50.

  119. 21:59:24 BST

    Looks like the rain has stopped, but the peloton is decked out in arm warmers and knee warmers. Not a balmy day in California.

  120. 22:02:20 BST

    Two Sky riders at the front of the peloton, followed by an HTC-Highroad rider.

  121. 22:04:21 BST

    Up in the break, Jan Barta (NetApp) has dropped back to his team car for sustenance and is now making his way back to his fellow escapees.

  122. 68.7km remaining from 196.2km

    22:05:29 BST

    Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank Sungard) getting a flat front tire taken care of. With a push from his mechanic he's back riding again, working through the caravan.

  123. 22:06:13 BST

    Just wide-open, rolling terrain at the moment.

  124. 22:06:47 BST

    Jesus Del Nero (NetApp) is back in the race caravan and is being attended to by the race doctor.

  125. 22:08:23 BST

    Nothing but the occasional cluster of cattle to witness the racing right now in the rolling grasslands.

  126. 22:09:53 BST

    Jesus Del Nero (NetApp) has now latched on to the back of the peloton after his earlier crash.

  127. 65.5km remaining from 196.2km

    22:10:56 BST

    Nothing but ProTour teams at the head of the peloton. There's 65.5km remaining to Modesto and the break's advantage is at 3:25.

  128. 22:12:03 BST

    No word on Gaimon's position. He's in no-man's land between the break and the peloton.

  129. 22:12:30 BST

    US road champion Ben King (RadioShack) is back at the team car, having a chat.

  130. 22:13:45 BST

    RadioShack currently has a rider setting tempo, Sky's Ian Stannard tucked in behind.

  131. 22:15:53 BST

    Steady rotating paceline for our six leaders.

    The peloton has successfully negotiated a narrow bridge, down to one lane due to construction.

  132. 22:17:26 BST

    Looks like the sun is beginning to peak through the clouds, a welcome sight for the peloton.

    Road are dry.

  133. 22:18:20 BST

    World champion Thor Hushovd is getting rid of some cold weather gear as his booties come off.

  134. 22:19:10 BST

    He's a tough Norwegian, and earlier teammate David Zabriskie stated that Thor does not have a rainbag.

  135. 60.3km remaining from 196.2km

    22:20:10 BST

    Strongman Bert Grabsch (HTC-Highroad) back to his familiar place at the head of the peloton.

  136. 22:21:20 BST

    Looks like Jan Barta (NetApp) is skipping pulls, sitting on the back of the break.

  137. 22:23:06 BST

    It seems that Dickeson, too, is sitting on while Creed, Driscoll, Meier and Andy Jacques-Maynes share the work.

  138. 58km remaining from 196.2km

    22:24:31 BST

    The weather is definitely brightening and the peloton's riders are shedding clothing.

  139. 22:24:59 BST

    Six HTC-Highroad rides on the front of the peloton.

  140. 22:29:28 BST

    Front flat for Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek). He's waiting for his team car to reach him.

  141. 22:30:26 BST

    And Andy's back in business, making his way through the caravan...But first, the cap comes off from beneath his helmet.

  142. 22:31:56 BST

    Michael Friedman (Kelly Benefit Strategies) is with Andy Schleck as well, but both have regained contact with the peloton.

  143. 22:34:11 BST

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) is wearing the best young rider's jersey as the leader of that classification, Peter Sagan, is wearing the points jersey.

  144. 22:36:17 BST

    Ben King's back at the RadioShack car again, shedding some clothing. He's flying the stars and stripes jersey of US road champion, earned the hard way via a lengthy solo break.

  145. 51km remaining from 196.2km

    22:37:36 BST

    Our six leaders are Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), James Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), and Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth).

    Their lead is now at 2:45 with 51km to go.

  146. 48.4km remaining from 196.2km

    22:43:01 BST

    All six riders in the break are rotating, Barta and Dickeson have recovered and are helping out again.

  147. 22:44:23 BST

    The race is rolling by the Woodward Reservoir as Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad) gets a new wheel.

     

  148. 22:46:06 BST

    The break is just about 10km away from the day's third intermediate sprint, located in Oakdale.

  149. 22:47:44 BST

    We've got some frisky horses roadside, excited to see the peloton fly by.

     

  150. 22:49:57 BST

    The break will likely contest the final intermediate sprint amongst themselves, but with their lead down to 1:35 with 44km to go, how much longer will they remain off the front?

  151. 22:50:22 BST

    Another front flat, this time for Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale).

  152. 42km remaining from 196.2km

    22:53:32 BST

    Looks like a momentary truce in the peloton. They've got the break well within their grasp and are backing off the throttle for the moment.

  153. 22:57:13 BST

    We'd like to say thanks to the army of volunteers manning each intersection for the peloton's safe passing. There's quite a few along a 196km stage.

  154. 39km remaining from 196.2km

    22:58:41 BST

    The advantage of our six leaders, Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jan Barta (Team NetApp), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), James Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home), William Dickeson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth), has actually grown slightly, to 1:50 as they've got less than 40km to go.

  155. 22:59:51 BST

    The break has 3km to the final intermediate sprint in Oakdale.

  156. 23:00:21 BST

    Will it be a clean sweep for Jan Barta (NetApp)?

  157. 23:00:54 BST

    Barta's sitting on the back again, perhaps preparing to pounce...

  158. 23:06:21 BST

    The break is splitting up following the final intermediate sprint. Barta and Jacques-Maynes are now in the lead.

  159. 23:08:01 BST

    Oakdale intermediate sprint results:

    1. Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare)
    2. Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)
    3. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell)

  160. 23:12:35 BST

    We have some clarification about the incident in the race caravan earlier today. "The Team Radio Shack lightly rear ended the BMC Racing Team car. There is no visible damage on either vehicle. No air bags deployed. And contrary to what have might have been reported, the BMC Racing Team did not hit the car in front of it."

  161. 30km remaining from 196.2km

    23:14:05 BST

    Bart and Andy Jacques-Maynes continue their effort in the race lead to fend off the peloton. The duo have a 1:45 advantage over the peloton with 30km remaining.

  162. 23:16:22 BST

    Driscoll has been absorbed back into the peloton after a lengthy stint off the front for the second straight day.

     

  163. 23:17:52 BST

    Ben Jacques-Maynes was unsuccessful in his bid yesterday to earn the most courageous rider award, perhaps his brother Andy will take that honor today.

  164. 27km remaining from 196.2km

    23:18:56 BST

    With 27km remaining, Meier, Dickeson and Creed have been absorbed by the peloton. Only Jan Barta and Andy Jacques-Maynes remain off the front.

  165. 23:19:54 BST

    A quick wheel change for Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek). He's making his way back to the peloton.

  166. 25km remaining from 196.2km

    23:22:09 BST

    Still plenty of wind buffeting the riders.

  167. 23:23:57 BST

    Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervelo) is dropping back to the team car.

  168. 23km remaining from 196.2km

    23:24:38 BST

    Van Summeren is now pacing teammate Thor Hushovd back to the peloton after the world champion has shed some more clothing.

  169. 23:25:55 BST

    Barta and Jacques-Maynes are fighting a strong crosswind. The peloton is 1:15 back.

  170. 23:26:41 BST

    Team Sky is turning the screws at the head of the peloton. We may see some splits with the crosswind.

  171. 21km remaining from 196.2km

    23:27:29 BST

    The break's lead is less than a minute with 21km remaining.

  172. 20km remaining from 196.2km

    23:28:38 BST

    On this long straight the break is in sight of the peloton, which is beginning to split into several echelons.

  173. 23:29:11 BST

    There's panic as the peloton has split into three echelons.

  174. 23:29:39 BST

    Barta alone in the lead. Andy Jacques-Maynes has cracked.

  175. 23:30:31 BST

    Looks like approximately 30-40 riders in the first echelon.

  176. 23:32:17 BST

    The break has been neutralised and there's a much-diminished front group.

  177. 17.2km remaining from 196.2km

    23:32:56 BST

    The riders turned left and the crosswind has shifted into a headwind. It looks like the pack is beginning to regroup.

  178. 23:34:01 BST

    The fireworks have ceased for the moment.

  179. 23:34:48 BST

    There's still a fairly big split, but the chasing group is coming back in contact with the front end of the race.

  180. 15.5km remaining from 196.2km

    23:36:26 BST

    After a painful chase it looks like we once again have gruppo comatto. We're out of the open countryside and into the suburbs, so there's a buffer for any crosswinds now.

  181. 13.3km remaining from 196.2km

    23:38:25 BST

    HTC-Highroad and Liquigas-Cannondale are setting the pace, thinking about setting up their respective sprinters.

  182. 23:39:06 BST

    Front flat for Matt Busche (RadioShack). Not a good time for a flat.

  183. 23:40:03 BST

    The peloton is nearing the finishing circuit in Modesto, 2 laps of a 4.5km loop.

  184. 23:41:05 BST

    Ben King is pacing Chris Horner back to the field. Horner is riding teammate Irizar's bike.

  185. 10km remaining from 196.2km

    23:41:55 BST

    US champion Ben King has delivered Horner back into the peloton with 10km to go.

  186. 23:42:48 BST

    We're on the wooded streets of Modesto and Spidertech is now at the front of the peloton.

  187. 9km remaining from 196.2km

    23:43:34 BST

    The peloton has crossed the finish line and has 9km to go.

  188. 23:44:01 BST

    The pace is ramping up and the peloton is stretching out.

  189. 23:44:23 BST

    Five Spidertech riders on the front.

  190. 8km remaining from 196.2km

    23:45:00 BST

    Wide open roads for the finishing circuit.

  191. 7.5km remaining from 196.2km

    23:45:39 BST

    Crash!

  192. 23:46:09 BST

    Jens Voigt one of the riders down, he's back up and riding.

  193. 23:46:31 BST

    Two other riders crashed, too. One looked like a UnitedHealthcare rider.

  194. 6km remaining from 196.2km

    23:46:48 BST

    Spidertech still in control with 6km to go.

  195. 23:47:28 BST

    Voigt is banged up but riding, just rolling along.

  196. 4.6km remaining from 196.2km

    23:48:33 BST

    Inside of 5km to go, Spidertech at the front.

  197. 4.5km remaining from 196.2km

    23:48:51 BST

    One lap to go on the finishing circuit.

  198. 23:49:03 BST

    Saxo Bank is taking over from Spidertech.

  199. 23:49:25 BST

    Four Saxo Bank riders on the front.

  200. 23:49:49 BST

    And here comes Sky alongside Saxo Bank.

  201. 23:50:19 BST

    3km to go, Sky and Saxo Bank at the front.

  202. 23:50:41 BST

    Alex Dowsett (Sky) hammering.

  203. 23:51:13 BST

    Team Sky is firmly in control with 2.4km to go.

  204. 23:51:37 BST

    Raboank is looming as well as HTC-Highroad

  205. 1.5km remaining from 196.2km

    23:52:21 BST

    Sky still in control, but Saxo Bank is right there as well.

  206. 23:52:32 BST

    Here comes Rabobank...

  207. 1km remaining from 196.2km

    23:52:42 BST

    1km to go!

  208. 23:52:58 BST

    Another crash, a lone Saxo Bank rider.

  209. 23:53:13 BST

    That was Baden Cooke.

  210. 23:53:30 BST

    Winding up for the sprint.

  211. 23:54:10 BST

    Another win for Sky!

  212. 23:54:49 BST

    Greg Henderson has taken stage three in Modesto.

  213. 23:55:51 BST

    A chaotic sprint indeed in the finale.

  214. 23:56:40 BST

    Michael Matthews just finished. He, too, crashed in the closing kilometres.

  215. 23:57:44 BST

    Henderson just rocketed out of the last turn and gapped the field.

     

  216. 00:02:18 BST

    Top three on the stage:

    1. Greg Henderson (Sky)
    2. JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank Sungard)
    3. Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo)

  217. 00:06:56 BST

    Here's the provisional top ten:

    1Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling5:14:29
    2Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard
    3Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    4Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
    5Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad
    6Kevin Lacombe (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10
    7Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
    8Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
    9Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
    10Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth
     

  218. 00:07:43 BST

    Sky teammates Greg Henderson and Ben Swift are tied on time for the general classification and it appears Henderson will take over the race lead.

  219. 00:08:13 BST

    Confirmed, Henderson is the new overall leader.

  220. 00:09:20 BST

    Thank you for joining us for stage three of the Amgen Tour of California.

  221. 00:10:54 BST

    We'll be back tomorrow for full live coverage of stage four, 131.6km from Livermore to San Jose with the hilltop finish on Sierra Road.  The action kicks off at 11:45am PDT