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Amgen Tour of California 2011

Date range:
May 15-22, 2011

May 19, Stage 5: Seaside - Paso Robles 217.4km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Peter Hymas

Hello, and welcome to stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California! Racing will commence today at 9:30am PDT.

  1. 12:31:34 EDT

    The race is underway, currently in a 2.9km neutral section.

  2. 12:34:52 EDT

    The peloton is rolling along at a leisurely 25km/hr, some riders are getting mechanical issues taken care of.

  3. 12:35:43 EDT

    The peloton is making its way to Laguna Seca through green, rolling hills.

  4. 12:36:24 EDT

    The race is on to Fort Ord military base, nearing the official start of the race at km 0.

  5. 12:36:46 EDT

    Today's stage is the longest of the Amgen Tour of California as the peloton makes its way 217.4km from Seaside to Paso Robles. The peloton has an early start and are expected to take approximately six hours to complete the course.

  6. 12:37:56 EDT

    And we're racing! And immediately there's an attack from Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek).

  7. 12:39:34 EDT

    Denifl's move was short-lived, and the peloton is back together now.

  8. 12:39:58 EDT

    Stage five was originally intended to travel down California's iconic Highway 1 alongside the Pacific Ocean for the bulk of the stage before heading inland to Paso Robles, but landslides blocked sections of the coastal road after late winter storms in March. Today's route while be entirely inland and will showcase new scenery and towns.

  9. 12:40:23 EDT

    Paso Robles last hosted a stage finish in the 2009 edition of the race, with the peloton travelling nearly exactly the same distance as today. The 2009 route, however, started to the northeast in Visalia and was flat for virtually the entire length. Today's route from Seaside will be a much hillier affair, with four KOMs on tap.

  10. 12:42:11 EDT

    There's another attack. Six riders have a slight advantage.

  11. 12:44:20 EDT

    After having two stages for the sprinters to open the Amgen Tour of California, yesterday the climbers came to the fore, with the race blowing apart on the finishing ascent of Sierra Road.

  12. 12:44:44 EDT

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) put on a tour de force performance in the closing kilometres as he soloed to victory and took over the race lead.

  13. 12:45:25 EDT

    Here's a look at the top of the general classification heading into today:
    1 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack 11:29:32
    2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 0:01:15
    3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:22
    4 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:29
    5 Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:01:30
    6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
    7 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:36
    8 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:01:50
    9 Andrew Talansky (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    10 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:00
    11 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 0:02:05
    12 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    13 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:33
    14 Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10
    15 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:02:38
    16 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:44
    17 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:53
    18 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:04
    19 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:03:19
    20 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:25

  14. 12:46:56 EDT

    We weren't able to get any IDs on the break, but the peloton is all back together.

  15. 12:47:56 EDT

    The tempo is a brisk 50km/h in the field as they fly by rolling coastal scrub brush and scattered pines. It's all very green after a rainy winter.

  16. 12:48:57 EDT

    A Bissell rider has gone on the attack. They've been very aggressive thus far, putting riders in every decisive break.

  17. 12:49:26 EDT

    The peloton is passing Laguna Seca at the moment.

  18. 12:51:57 EDT

    We had mentioned that four KOMs are on tap today. The first, the category 4 climb of Laureles Grade, is 5km away.

  19. 12:52:25 EDT

    The battle for the mountains classification is very tight and today's four KOMs should be hotly contested.

  20. 12:52:50 EDT

    The US's Jonathan Patrick McCarty, riding for Canadian Pro Continental squad Team Spidertech Powered By C10, currently tops the classification:
    1 Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10 12 pts
    2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 12
    3 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack 10
    4 Will Routley (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10 10
    5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 10
    6 Matthew Busche (USA) Team RadioShack 10
    7 Jesse Anthony (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth 9
    8 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Team RadioShack 8
    9 Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 7
    10 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioShack 7

  21. 12:55:38 EDT

    The peloton is now on the ascent to the first KOM. There are sweeping views of Carmel Valley.

  22. 12:56:01 EDT

    The peloton is still together, travelling at a brisk tempo.

  23. 12:56:50 EDT

    And we have an attack from Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), but he's quickly brought back.

  24. 12:57:54 EDT

    While the Amgen Tour of California has its official classifications, the peloton's cyclo-cross riders have an informal 'cross classification.

  25. 12:58:49 EDT

    Powers was keeping tabs on Lars Boom (Rabobank), but was bummed that he missed the day's decisive break, telling CN's Laura Weislo "I went one break too soon". He promised to be on the lookout today for the break.

  26. 13:00:10 EDT

    We had an attack from Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank Cycling Team), Alexander Efimkin (Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis) and Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling), but it was quickly shut down.
     

  27. 13:00:28 EDT

    The pack is strung out in approach of the first KOM

  28. 13:01:48 EDT

    Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo) and Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling) attack.
     

  29. 13:09:20 EDT

    We're trying to get an update on the road of the current situation.

  30. 13:11:19 EDT

    Jonas Carny, the Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth director, thought the early KOMs would force a selection. He's hoping that either Mike Creed of Jesse Anthony can make their way into the early break.

  31. 13:13:27 EDT

    Frankie Andreu, the director of Kenda/5-hour Energy p/b Geargrinder, spoke to Laura Weislo and thought that today would the day for a break to go the distance. He thought that RadioShack wouldn't have to worry about anyone more than six minutes down on GC.

  32. 13:16:25 EDT

    We now have a four man break comprised of Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank Cycling Team), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo) and Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling).
     

  33. 13:19:12 EDT

    The quartet went clear over the first KOM

    KOM #1 results
    1. Freire
    2. Froome
    3. Martin
    4. Baldwini

  34. 13:20:28 EDT

    Results of first sprint:

    1. Freire
    2. Martin
    3. Baldwin

  35. 13:26:14 EDT

    So we have a four-man break of Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank Cycling Team), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling).

  36. 188.4km remaining from 217.4km

    13:26:47 EDT

    The escapees are 29km into the stage.

  37. 13:27:29 EDT

    Bert Grabsch (HTC-Highroad) has abandoned.

  38. 13:28:12 EDT

    Best young rider leader Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo) crashed on the descent off the first KOM, be he's back up and regained contact with the peloton.

  39. 13:31:18 EDT

    Oscar Freire spoke with us before the stage and he thought that a break could go the distance since the route is hilly and the GC order is now pretty clear. Little did we know that he had aspirations to make the move!

  40. 13:33:09 EDT

    We have mentioned Andrew Talansky and another closely contested classification is for best young rider, which changed hands yesterday from Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) to Talansky. At the moment it appears to be shaping up as a three-man contest between Talansky, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) and Sagan.

  41. 13:33:24 EDT

    Here's a look at the top-10 for best young rider:'
    1 Andrew Talansky (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 11:31:22
    2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 0:00:15
    3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:54
    4 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:02:38
    5 Timothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:53
    6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:11:43
    7 Ben King (USA) Team RadioShack 0:12:22
    8 Alastair Loutit (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda 0:22:36
    9 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:22:53
    10 Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad

  42. 13:35:44 EDT

    RadioShack will be expected to set tempo in the peloton, and amongst their riders is US road champion Ben King who spoke to Cyclingnews' Kirsten Frattini before today's stage.

    "This week at the Tour of California has been great and I will be up there in the wind a lot with Markel and Jason and the reat of the guys. I love it, it is so rewarding. It is so cool to finishi my job early on and roll up the climb. It was cool to get to the top and have the spectators tell me that Chris won by a minute and half. It was cool to finish and see how happy everyone was, very exciting."

  43. 13:39:01 EDT

    The four man break of Martin, Froome, Baldwin and Freire has been neutralised.

    We now have 8 riders off the front and we'll provide their IDs shortly.

  44. 13:44:45 EDT

    We have IDs of 7 of the eight riders off the front. The attackers are Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky Procycling), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth).

  45. 177.4km remaining from 217.4km

    13:45:36 EDT

    They're 40km into the stage and have a lead of 1:40 over the peloton on the approach to the second KOM.

  46. 13:47:06 EDT

    It's very aggressive, fluid racing thus far today.

  47. 13:49:19 EDT

    Four riders are trying to make it across to the break: Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) and Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)

  48. 13:55:17 EDT

    We had a mistake in the original composition of the break. Arvesen had abandoned yesterday.

  49. 13:55:52 EDT

    There is now a 10-man break off the front and they've passed throught the second KOM.

  50. 13:56:57 EDT

    We have IDs for eight of the ten riders off the front: Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)

  51. 13:59:52 EDT

    We have results for the second KOM:
    1. Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10)
    2. Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)
    3. Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling)
    4. Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team)
     

  52. 14:00:53 EDT

    McCarty started the day in the KOM leader's jersey and is doing his part to defend his lead. He and Anthony had jumped from the break to contest the KOM and were then absorbed soon after into the break.

  53. 14:06:17 EDT

    We spoke to the Steve Bauer, the Spidertech director, and he stated that they'd ride in defense of the mountains classification, and indeed they are!

  54. 14:07:04 EDT

    The weather started cool and misty along the coast, but the temperatures are warming up and the sun should be peeking through shortly as we make our way further inland.

  55. 14:08:59 EDT

    Cyclingnews' Kirsten Frattini spoke to Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) prior to the start today:

    "Our team is divided in figuring out what is going to happen today. It could be a breakaway and we will be watching for some of the bigger teams to go and that will help make our decision as to whether or not we will go in the break or not. We don’t want to burn too many guys in the breakaway because Rory has a good shot in the GC and we don’t want to burn a guy today that then can’t help him later on in the race. It’s not worth us being up the road unless several other big teams are represented."

  56. 14:10:06 EDT

    Today's stage is sponsored by Rabobank and the organisation has 250 people on-hand to watch. The riders are definitely motivated, and Rabobank's Tjallingi is currently in the break.

  57. 14:12:31 EDT

    The day's third KOM, the category 4 climb on Carmel Valley Road, comes 52.5km into the stage. We'll let you know the results as soon as possible.

  58. 14:14:53 EDT

    If today's stage does end in a group sprint, former GC leader Ben Swift could be a contender to pick up his second stage win. He spoke to Cyclingnews' Jen See yesterday.

  59. 14:18:33 EDT

    Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo caught up with Garmin-Cervelo director Jonathan Vaughters before today's stage.

    "RadioShack caught onto our tactics pretty quickly [yesterday], having Thor in the break - if they had just ridden tempo instead of a full chase, he could have been away at the top and have rider reach him. Thor is one of the best descenders in the world, and if they could have had two minutes at the bottom of the final climb instead of one, it would have been a different story.

    "Today we have 5 guys we can play the cards with. Horner is clearly the strongest guy in the race, we have to see if we can tactically leverage that so we can make it hard on him."

  60. 155.4km remaining from 217.4km

    14:23:45 EDT

    The break has pushed out their lead to 3:05 at km 62.

  61. 14:24:09 EDT

    There are now 11 riders at the head of the race. We'll have a full list shortly.

  62. 14:29:49 EDT

    We have the names of 10 out of 11 riders currently off the front: Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Reid Mumford (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)

  63. 14:30:12 EDT

    Their lead is now up to 3:50 over the peloton.

  64. 14:31:01 EDT

    There's been plenty of cattle guards on the descents to keep the riders on their toes. Despite the high speeds, riders are  choosing to bunny hop them!

  65. 14:33:10 EDT

    Ah, quick correction on the break. The Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth rider is Jesse Anthony, not Reid Mumford. Sorry about that. The peloton is in a fairly remote region at the moment and updates are hard to come by for now.

  66. 14:41:02 EDT

    There's plenty of horsepower up the road. Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervelo) is best-place on GC, starting the day 2:05 down on Horner.

  67. 143.4km remaining from 217.4km

    14:43:01 EDT

    RadioShack is riding tempo in the peloton, with US road champion Ben King at the front.

    The peloton is 74km into the stage.

  68. 14:46:18 EDT

    Kirsten Frattini spoke to race leader Chris Horner yesterday. See what Horner had to say about his chances to stay in the leader's jersey through the final stage on Sunday.

  69. 14:53:41 EDT

    There's another rather big race taking place concurrent with the Amgen Tour of California, the Giro d'Italia of course. Find out what happened in stage 12 today.

  70. 14:56:07 EDT

    And we've finally tracked down the ID of that elusive 11th rider in the break - it's Oscar Freire (Rabobank)!

  71. 14:56:52 EDT

    The break is entering Greenfield.

  72. 126.4km remaining from 217.4km

    15:02:39 EDT

    The break is at km 91 and holds a gap of 3:15 over the peloton. We're in an area noted for its agriculture and are currently rolling by fields of broccoli.

  73. 15:03:00 EDT

    It's a long, flat valley road surrounded y low rolling hills.

  74. 15:04:02 EDT

    As a reminder, we have a break of 11 riders off the front comprised of: Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank Cycling Team), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)
     

  75. 15:04:48 EDT

    The break just made a right turn, heading south, and now have a tail wind to assist them.

  76. 15:07:03 EDT

    The riders certainly are flying along today. At the moment they're ahead of the fastest projected time schedule.

  77. 15:07:27 EDT

    There's been a crash in the field, three riders down.

  78. 15:11:59 EDT

    Laura Weislo spoke to Jelly Belly's Bernarnd Van Ulden who's in his fourth straight Amgen Tour of California. Find out what he has to say about this year's experience.

  79. 15:12:43 EDT

    All three riders who hit the deck in the peloton are up and making their way back to the peloton.

  80. 15:13:26 EDT

    RadioShack is setting tempo in the peloton, keeping the break in check.

  81. 15:14:17 EDT

    We're now in one of the most fertile agricultural valleys in California. Here, the land is flat and the growing season is well underway. Fields of grapes give way to lettuce and strawberries.

  82. 15:15:34 EDT

    The riders are on roads paralleling the 101 freeway heading south to King City, Steineck country.

  83. 15:17:32 EDT

    We have results for KOM #3:

    1. Anthony
    2. McCarty
    3. Baldwin
    4. Tjallingi

  84. 15:19:17 EDT

    Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) are having quite a duel for the KOM classification. McCarty started the day with a 3-point advantage over Anthony.

  85. 111.4km remaining from 217.4km

    15:21:22 EDT

    The eleven-man break's lead is at 3:00 with 106km completed thus far.

  86. 15:26:39 EDT

    Jacob Rytlewski (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) had a crash but he's up and back in the peloton.
     

  87. 15:27:58 EDT

    Some action in the break as Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team) attacks! He's currently 20 seconds up on the remaining 10 riders.
     

  88. 15:32:35 EDT

    The Bissell team has been very active thus far at the Amgen Tour of California and today makes it four out of four days they've put a rider up the road. Cyclingnews's Jen See talked to the American Continental squad yesterday.

  89. 102.4km remaining from 217.4km

    15:34:38 EDT

    Tjallingi is back in the break, which is looking a bit disorganised at the moment. The peloton's 2:55 back.

  90. 15:36:05 EDT

    There's been a crash in the field. No details yet as to who went down.

  91. 15:41:29 EDT

    Alex Dowsett (Sky Procycling), Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank Sungard), Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank Sungard), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Cycling), Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home), Luca Damiani (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) and Jacob Rytlewski (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) were all involved in the crash in the peloton.

  92. 15:43:02 EDT

    We're approaching the mid-way point of today's stage with 11 riders off the front of a RadioShack-led peloton.

  93. 15:44:31 EDT

    Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Oscar Freire Gomez and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) are the 11 riders on the attack.
     

    The gap to the field is 2:45

  94. 15:45:16 EDT

    The race is currently seven minutes faster than the quickest predicted schedule.

  95. 15:47:44 EDT

    A nature break is being taken by the peloton.

  96. 15:54:34 EDT

    As the peloton stopped for the call of nature, the break's lead has increased slightly.

    We're now in wine country, plenty of vineyards along the race route.

  97. 79.4km remaining from 217.4km

    16:03:52 EDT

    The break is at km 138 and has a 2:55 advantage over the peloton.

  98. 16:13:11 EDT

    Two riders involved in the crash earlier, Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) and Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank Sungard), have abandoned. They've both been brought to a hospital with non-critical injuries.

  99. 16:13:44 EDT

    Alex Dowsett (Sky) has also abandoned and is in his team car.

  100. 16:15:00 EDT

    The riders are in the town of Lockwood under sunny skies.

  101. 16:16:29 EDT

    RadioShack is chipping away at the break's advantage, now down to 2:00.

  102. 16:27:04 EDT

    The fourth and final KOM of the day is located at km 184.2 on Interlake Road. All four KOMs today have been rated as category 4 climbs.

  103. 64.4km remaining from 217.4km

    16:30:49 EDT

    The break's been pegged at 2:00, and they're currently 153km into the stage.

  104. 16:39:41 EDT

    There's beautiful, sunny weather at the finish in Paso Robles.

  105. 16:42:23 EDT

    World champion Thor Hushovd has also abandoned today. "I haven't been feeling very well since I arrived, and today I just felt empty. I couldn't continue. I'm very disappointed to leave the team and the race. I would have liked to finish because the last day was a goal for me. I wish the team luck. I'm proud of what we've done here so far."

  106. 57.4km remaining from 217.4km

    16:43:15 EDT

    The break is off the flat valley roads and back into hillier terrain. They're working smoothly together now and have stretched their lead back out to 2:50.

  107. 16:43:31 EDT

    Can they go the distance?

  108. 16:48:21 EDT

    The break should stay clear through the final KOM at 33.2km to go where Pat McCarty (Spidertech) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) can go head-to-head again for KOM supremacy.

  109. 16:50:51 EDT

    And as a reminder, here's the composition of the 11-man break:

    Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo), Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Oscar Freire Gomez and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) and Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)

  110. 35.5km remaining from 217.4km

    17:02:32 EDT

    The break's lead has been whittled back to 1:45 with 35.5km remaining.

  111. 17:03:50 EDT

    RadioShack still doing the work at the head of the peloton.

  112. 17:04:23 EDT

    Liquigas-Cannondale is situated just behind RadioShack

  113. 17:05:21 EDT

    Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare) is being gapped out from the break as they near the day's final KOM.

  114. 17:06:16 EDT

    Luca Damiani (Kenda/5-hour Energy) looking pretty ripped up from his earlier crash, having trouble staying in touch with the peloton.

  115. 17:07:01 EDT

    The break's splitting up in approach of the KOM.

  116. 17:07:28 EDT

    McCarty and Anthony marking each other

     

  117. 17:08:17 EDT

    Denifl leading it out

     

  118. 17:09:14 EDT

    McCarty now takes over at the front and he takes maximum points. Trailed by Freire and Denifl.

  119. 17:10:09 EDT

    McCarty will remain atop the KOM standings.

  120. 17:11:01 EDT

    Denifl and Freire kept going over the top of the KOM. Jesse Anthony is trying to bridge up to the ProTour duo.

  121. 30km remaining from 217.4km

    17:13:00 EDT

    RadioShack is still powering the peloton. Their deficit is 2:20 with 30km to go.

  122. 17:15:04 EDT

    Freire and Denifl working well together. Rabobank is sponsoring today's stage and Freire would like nothing more than to deliver the goods.

  123. 17:15:30 EDT

    US road champion Ben King driving the peloton.

  124. 17:15:57 EDT

    It looks like Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare) has been absorbed by the peloton.

  125. 17:18:47 EDT

    Liguigas-Cannondale is now contributing to the chase, likely hoping to set up Peter Sagan for a field sprint win.

  126. 17:19:30 EDT

    McCarty about to be absorbed, mission accomplished for his KOM campaign today.

  127. 17:20:04 EDT

    No word yet as to the status of the remaining riders from the original break.

  128. 24.5km remaining from 217.4km

    17:21:15 EDT

    Freire and Denifl holding steady at 2:25 up on the peloton with 24.5km to go.

  129. 17:22:40 EDT

    Riders are beginning to drop off the back of the peloton. It's a long day on the road today.

  130. 17:23:27 EDT

    Race leader Chris Horner (RadioShack) sitting comfortably near the head of the peloton, with his ever-present smile on his face.

  131. 17:25:29 EDT

    Peloton just passed a "Share the Road" sign. Today, there's no sharing necessary as the peloton has a closed parcours.

  132. 20.5km remaining from 217.4km

    17:26:12 EDT

    The lead duo really want this to stick. At 20.5km to go their lead is at 2:05.

  133. 17:26:28 EDT

    It's now up to the sprinters' teams to bring them back.

  134. 17:29:21 EDT

    Freire and Denifl are flying downhill.

  135. 17:30:51 EDT

    The remnants of the break are likely to be absorbed soon.

  136. 17.5km remaining from 217.4km

    17:31:36 EDT

    17.5km to go, Freire and Denifl's lead at 1:55.

  137. 17:33:00 EDT

    Freire alone in the lead, looks like Denifl had a flat.

  138. 17:33:50 EDT

    Freire not waiting, he'll miss the extra horsepower. Can he time trial the remaining 15.5km to victory?

  139. 14km remaining from 217.4km

    17:35:02 EDT

    Freire going it alone, holding a 1:50 lead with 14km to go.

  140. 17:35:33 EDT

    The peloton is stretched out single file with Liquigas-Cannondale doing the damage.

  141. 17:36:44 EDT

    Ben King back on the front for RadioShack.

  142. 17:37:44 EDT

    What was left of the break is shattered in between Freire and the peloton.

  143. 17:38:54 EDT

    Louder, Anthony, Martin brought back.

  144. 17:39:12 EDT

    Velits and Tjallingi are now caught.

  145. 9.9km remaining from 217.4km

    17:40:56 EDT

    9.9km to go and Freire's lead is now 1:20

  146. 8km remaining from 217.4km

    17:42:35 EDT

    Cameron Wurk (Liquigas-Cannondale) powering the peloton. Freire's lead at 1:10 with 8km to go.

  147. 17:42:46 EDT

    Froome has been absorbed by the peloton.

  148. 17:43:18 EDT

    Team car alongside Freire urging him on.

  149. 7km remaining from 217.4km

    17:43:51 EDT

    Gap at 1:00 with 7km remaining.

  150. 17:44:16 EDT

    HTC-Highroad now on the front with Bernhard Eisel in the lead.

  151. 17:44:39 EDT

    Freire grits his teeth, still 100% committed.

  152. 17:45:41 EDT

    Crash in the back of the field. Andy Jacques-Maynes and Brent Bookwalter. They're up and trying to chase back on.

  153. 17:46:36 EDT

    Peter Velits and Danny Pate now at the head of the chase for HTC-Highroad. The peloton is splitting up on a false flat.

  154. 5km remaining from 217.4km

    17:47:17 EDT

    Not looking good for Freire. His lead is now at 25 seconds with 5km to go.

  155. 4km remaining from 217.4km

    17:48:32 EDT

    Four kilometres to go and Freire's lead is a slender 15 seconds.

  156. 17:49:24 EDT

    Freire glances back. The field has been ripped apart by HTC-Highroad.

  157. 2.4km remaining from 217.4km

    17:50:11 EDT

    Freire is caught with 2.4km to go.

  158. 17:51:17 EDT

    Attack by a Bissell rider

  159. 1km remaining from 217.4km

    17:52:20 EDT

    Vennell has been caught. Inside of 1km to go.

  160. 17:52:40 EDT

    Field breaking up slightly under intense pressure.

  161. 17:53:06 EDT

    Sagan takes it!

  162. 17:54:47 EDT

    Leigh Howard led out the sprint, but Sagan kicked hard to come from four riders back.

  163. 18:06:36 EDT

    Provisional top five:
    1Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale5:16:03
    2Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad
    3Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
    4Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team
    5Alex Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth
     

  164. 18:07:25 EDT

    Top three on GC remain unchanged:
    1Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack16:45:35
    2Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack0:01:15
    3Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:22
     

  165. 18:08:15 EDT

    Thanks for tuning in to our live coverage. Tomorrow the Amgen Tour of California faces the race of truth in Solvang, with a 24km individual time trial.