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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the stage 6 individual time trial at the Amgen Tour of California.
As the men warm up for the stage 6 time trial, the women are starting to approach the starting ramp for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California Women's Time Trial.
Race organizers invited 15 riders to participate in the women's time trial, held in conjunction with stage 6 of the men’s stage race.
Mara Abbott (Exergy Twenty16) will kick off the event at 12:48pm, followed by cyclo-cross star Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) and Julie Dibens (Now and Novartis for MS).
We've received word that David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) may have crashed while warming up on the time trial course today. He is being helped out of his team car and is holding his ribs.
Today's course is a tough one with 31.6kms of flat to undulating terrain that includes a 2.8km climb up Metcalf Rd. to the finish line in Motor Cycle Park. It's also very windy.
Mara Abbott is on course.
The talk of the day is whether or not the riders will use a time trial bike for the majority of the race and then switch to a standard road bike for the final climb up Metcalf Rd to the finish line in Motor Cycle Park.
Race officials are allowing riders to switch bikes, however, rules state that support cars are not permitted to pass their riders in a time trial. In this case, the mechanics must wait until their rider comes to a complete stop before getting out of the car, taking the spare bike off the roof and providing the rider with a bike change. Some say the extra effort might take 30 to 45 valuable seconds.
Katie Compton is now on course.
Compton has had a very successful career racing cyclo-cross. It's great to see her out on the time trial course today. We're sure she will do very well.
Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo is now at the top of the climb at the finish line.
She said there were tons of amateur cyclists of varying degree of ability weaving their way up Metcalf Rd. Many had to stop and walk. It's very, very steep in the middle. The minivan she was driving in struggled to make it.
Apparently Mara Abbott has decided to take a bike change with 3kms to go, at the bottom of the climb.
Kristin McGrath has just caught and passed Jasmin Glaesser.
The 15 riders invited to compete in the 2013 Amgen Tour of California Women's Time Trial are:
Alison Tetrick - Exergy Twenty16
Mara Abbott - Exergy Twenty16
Kristin McGrath - Exergy Twenty16
Alison Powers - NOW and Novartis for MS
Robin Farina - NOW and Novartis for MS
Jade Wilcoxson - Optum Pro Cycling
Brianna Walle - Optum Pro Cycling
Lauren Stephens - Team TIBCO
Jasmin Glaesser - Team TIBCO
Evelyn Stevens - Specialized-lululemon
Tayler Wiles - Specialized-lululemon
Rhae Shaw - Vanderkitten
Katie Compton - Trek Cyclocross
Amber Neben is now catching and passing Tayler Wiles.
Neben is looking very fast. She has two more riders in her sight.
The men's race has started. Carson Miller from Jamis-Hagens Berman was the first rider off. He's about 10 minutes into his time trial.
Alison Powers was the last rider to set off on course. She is having a phenomenal time trial today. She is passing former national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens.
We have word that Evelyn Stevens has crashed.
Correction Amber Neben has crashed, not Stavens.
Neben is slowly sitting up but it looks like she hit a rock on the side of the road with her left shoulder.
The wind is picking up and making this time trial even more difficult then it already is ...
The riders who started behind Amber Neben are being told by race marshalls to slow down in that corner.
That is something the pro men will definitely want to know about because they'll be going even faster than Amber was when she crashed.
In the men's time trial, US national road champion Timmy Duggan is about to start. He has decided race on a time trial bike today.
Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo is on course and says that, "Alison Powers is riding like a motorcycle, she's very good at handling that TT bike. Stevens is actually keeping up with her, about 20m behind."
Powers is using a full disc wheel today and Stevens has decided to use a deep dish rear rim.
We have now received word that Zabriskie is on his way to the hospital after crashing during warm up this morning.
In the men's race, Thor Hushovd is on the starting ramp and is using a time trial bike.
To recap the day's discussion,
The big decision is whether or not the riders will use a time trial bike for the majority of the race and then switch to a standard road bike for the final climb up Metcalf Rd to the finish line in Motor Cycle Park. Race officials are allowing riders to switch bikes, however, rules state that support cars are not permitted to pass their riders in a time trial. In this case, the mechanics must wait until their rider comes to a complete stop before getting out of the car, taking the spare bike off the roof and providing the rider with a bike change.
Some riders are choosing deep dish rear rims rather than disc wheels, likely because of the really strong crosswinds today.
Pat McCarty (Bissell) has a full-on time trial set up with a disc wheel. He's looking to post a good time today.
Amber Neben's crash may mean she will be unable to defend her US national time trial title. We have no word if she's gotten up yet, but it was a very dramatic fall.
The men are discussing the course as they wait for their starts near the ramp. It seems they are all talking about the brutal climb at the finish.
Amber Neben is back on her bike and is riding.
In the women's race, Stevens and Powers keep trading places. The crosswinds seem to be favoring Powers at the moment.
It's very windy today and much of the headwind is in the mid-section of the time trial. The rest is all crosswinds.
Ken Hanson (Optum) is waiting for his start. It is not too hot today but he's wearing an ice pack nonetheless. He's probably still trying to cool off from the opening stages when temperatures were 108F.
Cyclingnews reporter Pat Malach is in the Bissell team car and on course. He just passed Amber Neben, who is not riding her bike. She is likely heading straight to the hospital to get her shoulder checked out.
Matt Brammeier from Champion System is now on course
Jason McCartney (Bissell) has passed three riders so far. He looks like he's having a good ride.
Marco Pinotti (BMC) has just rolled up to the starting ramp. He was a multiple-time Italian national time trial champion. He went to the hospital after stage 2 because of heat exhaustion. He's looking much better today.
Mara Abbott is on the climb
Abbott is now on a road bike. She took a bike change at the bottom of the climb. Her finishing time is 58:59.75.
Kristin McGrath is coming in now. Her time is 57:12. Great ride!
Julie Dibbens posted a time of 59:49
Katie Compton just finished her time trial with a 1:00.50
Robin Farina was just over one hour
Evie Stevens just flew in with a 55:49, new fastest time.
Alison Powers just finished with a time of 56:46, for second place behind Stevens.
King of the Mountain leader Carter Jones (Bissell) is currently in the seating area wearing a polkadot skin suit.
His teammate Jason McCartney is passing 1 km to go on the climb.
Vacansoleil's Boy van Poppel is on the starting ramp, followed by Garmin-Sharp's Alex Howes and Orica-GreenEdge's Michael Matthews.
Jason McCartney (Bissell) has just posted the new fastest time of 53:11.
Sylvain Chavanel from Omega Pharma-QuickStep is waiting for his start. He's wearing the French national champion skin suit.
Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo just spoke with Wesley Kreder, who climbed the finish climb on his TT bike and said it was the wrong choice.
He also said that it is so steep and he couldn't get power climbing on the tops holding onto the arm pads. He hopes he can get the message to his Vacansoleil teammate Lieuwe Westra to take a bike change.
Bontrager's James Oram has the fastest time now with 52:51
Oram didn't have that hot seat for too long because Scott Zwizanski from Optum Pro Cycling just flew in with a new best time of 49:51
We just spoke with Zwizanski's teammate Marsh Cooper who said it was a headwind or cross/headwind on the way out, and he really had to keep an even pace and try to save some so he didn't blow up on the climb.
He said that he stayed on his TT bike, but it was awkward and he thinks the favorites will take a bike change. He said the climb was also deceptively hot.
It is windy and cool at the finish but the steep climb blocks the wind and makes it hotter than expected.
Sprint classification leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is on the starting ramp.
Sagan is using a full time trial set up with a disc wheel and all.
We spoke with NetApp-Endura before the time trial and they said that their riders were changing gearing and equipment after the pre-ride. After seeing the climb, many are choosing to switch to a standard road bike at the bottom.
Axel Merckx, Bontrager DS said, "We drove the course. Our riders will not be taking a bike change. The climb is not long enough or difficult enough to make it worthwhile."
Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) just posted a new fastest time of 51:30 minutes
Yesterday's stage winner and most aggressive rider, Jens Voigt (RadioShack) is on the starting ramp. There are some big cheers coming from the crowds for him.
The unofficial results for the women's time trial are:
1. Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), 55:49 minutes
2. Alison Powers (Now and Novartis for MS), +0:56
3. Kristin McGrath (Exergy Twenty16), +1:24
We spoke with Zwizanski after his time trial. He said that he was late to the greenroom and in the meantime his finishing time was surpassed by Meyer.
Andy Schleck is on the starting ramp.
Kristijan Koren is coming through the finish. Thomas De Gendt is now leading with 51:09, but Koren just beat him in 50:58.
Zwizanski says it was a tailwind on the way out, then it turned into the wind and was a block headwind the entire way to the climb. He didn't take a bike change because he is comfortable climbing on his TT bike, but Haga isn't as comfortable and will take a change.
Stage 1 winner Lieuwe Westra is on the ramp.
It's a shame that both US national time trial champions crashed today, Amber Neben during her time trial and David Zabriskie during pre-race warm up.
Koren was only 4th fastest at the intermediate split, and made up all that time on the second half of the course.
Rohan Dennis from Garmin-Sharp has the new fastest time, 49:20.
Marco Pinotti (BMC) has just finished with a time of 50:50 minutes, good enough for second place at the moment.
The top three at the moment are Dennis, Pinotti and Koren
Josh Saint, 5-hour Energy/Kenda DS said, "We are going to change bikes for Francisco Mancebo, and maybe others on the team."
Mike Tamayo, UnitedHealthcare manager said he had three engineers working on the decision to swap bikes during the time trial.
On the other hand, Jonas Carney, Optum Pro Cycling’s DS said that he did the math on his iPhone and that his rider Chad Haga has a degree in engineering.
Canadian national road champion, Ryan Roth (Champion System) is on course now and looking strong.
Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis-Hagens Berman) has had some success in the prologues and individual time trial stages at the Amgen Tour of California. He was third in the prologue in 2007 and has been in the top 10 in the time trial. His team went out to pre-ride the course this morning, looking for options and practicing bike changes. He said it was more important for Janier Acevedo then for the rest of the team.
He remembered that Floyd Landis won with a time in about 46 minutes on a similar course in the 2006 edition. Jacques-Maynes expects the winning time to be about 48 minutes. He noted that the Strava record for the final climb on Metcalf Rd is 10:03 minutes.
Bob Jungels is in with a 50:21 and is now the third fastest time. He had enough energy to sprint to the line and throw his bike.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) will be the last rider to start today.
He told Cyclingnews reporter Pat Malach yesterday that, "It's going to be a battle of equipment, gearing and whether or not you're going to take a bike change or if you're going to sacrifice weight for aerodynamics. It's going to be kind of a lab experiment and a science test a little bit."
KOM leader Carter Jones just rode in with a 54:11
Chad Haga (Optum Pro Cycling) who is sitting in the top 10 overall told Cyclingnews reporter Pat Malach yesterday that, "I think it will just be the full time trial set-up. Take the weight penalty on the climb and hope that the aero benefits on the rest of the course make up for it." We will see if he has changed his mind.
Chavanel is riding in with a very fast time.
He came in with the fourth fastest time, 50:40
Top 10 is currently: Dennis, Pinotti, Jungels, Chavanel, Koren, De Gendt, Meyer, Zwizanski, Sweeting and Matthews
Rohan Dennis told us at the finish line that, "It was a tough course. You had to leave something for the climb. There weren't many spots on the course to recover. You starte with that climb, and then there was a false flat before you climbed again and then the descent. That was about the only recovery you got. So, I was trying to keep as even as possible, but just below what you usually do for a whole time trial so you could kick it up that final climb."
Chavanel was second at the intermediate check point but ended up with the fourth fastest time so far. He may have gone out too hard.
There are only five riders left to start the time trial.
The riders still to go are: Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare), Matthew Busche (RadioShack), Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).
Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Leopard) told Pat Malach yesterday, "Hopefully I can keep my position or move up a spot or two. I definitely am in a better position now, and if I have a good time trial, then on Diablo I can be a bit more defensive and conserve my spot, which will hopefully be on the podium."
Michael Rogers has just started his time trial ...
Rogers is a three-time world time trial champion and won the Amgen Tour of California in 2010.
Rohan Dennis is still leading, Farrar was the last to finish and was over 56 minutes, just making it to the finish inside the time cut.
Tejay van Garderen is off ...
Nate Brown in with 52:33, he's ahead of Lachlan Morton who was 55 minutes plus.
Van Garderen is looking very strong in yellow. He is on a full time trial bike set up.
Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) is also looking strong. He was one of the top overall classification riders to miss the breakaway yesterday and slipped from third to fifth in the overall.
Janier Acevedo (Jamis- Hagens Berman) also missed out on the breakaway yesterday, while he was wearing the yellow leader's jersey. He slipped into third place overall. He's a strong climber and could have a good ride on the final climb in today's time trial.
Ryan Roth just finished with a time of 54:30
Van Garderen and Rogers are looking very strong on course.
Van Garderen is leading the overall by 42 seconds ahead of Rogers, 50 seconds ahead of Acevedo, 1:04 ahead of Busche and 1:17 to Deignan.
Acevedo's teammate Luis Amaran just finished with a time of 53 minutes plus. He crashed at the end of stage 1 and has been dealing with deep road rash on his arm.
Dennis also told us that he didn't take a bike change. "It's tough to stop because you get the lactate building up, and it's mentally tough to get the momentum up again. That last climb didn't feel very good. From 3km to 2km were ok, but the next kilometer seemed to take forever. It was a bit of a head crack. I was looking down at my Garmin for what power I knew I could hold. Then it was just sell out for the last 10 minutes.
51:15 for Juan Antonio Flecha (VAC)
Busche is pedalling along the flatter sections of the time trial. The wind is playing a big factor in today's event.
RadioShack Jens Voigt is coming to the line in the most courageous skinsuit and waving at the crowds. He posted a time of 55:58. He had a great race yesterday with multiple attacks before he won the stage.
Brent Bookwalter is crossing the line with a 52:48.
Westra just rode in and posted the new fastest time of 49:15
Jens Voigt said that after having ridden the course, he would not switch bikes. "You come into that climb with a little tailwind, and then with the switch maybe you get a little breather, but then you've got to get going again. We had one rider already who took a new bike, but I haven't talked to him yet. We will compare notes."
Lieuwe Westra did not change bikes and neither did previous leader Rohan Dennis. Bissell's Mike Torckler also didn't see a need for a bike change after he arrived at finish. He said that, "by the time you stop and change you're gonna lose time and then you have to get your rhythm back. I'm not sure it's worth it."
Michael Rogers will want to try and gain a few seconds on Tejay van Garderen today before the stage 7 race that finishes on Mt. Diablo tomorrow. Although he is a three-time world champion in the time trial, van Garderen is also very strong in the event. It's going to be close.
Acevedo is looking strong on his time trial bike. Although he is a very strong climber, he is also a good time trialist.
Michael Rogers has 10 kms to go.
Andy Schleck was mobbed by fans after he finished, and it didn't hurt he was sat down in a chair next to Jens Voigt.
There are a ton of fans on the climb up to the Motor Cycle Park.
The crowds are cheering very loud for Van Garderen as he passes 10 kms to go.
Marc de Maar just rode in with 52:02
Acevedo just started the smaller climb, before the bigger climb to the finish. Unfortunately he had to get off his bike to deal with a dropped chain. He is back on his TT bike.
Best young rider Lawson Craddock in with a 51:34
Westra was faster than van Garderen and Rogers at the time check.
Chad Haga is coming to the line with a very good time. And he posts a 51:51.32
Here comes Francisco Mancebo, he's got this lopsided posture on the bike that he gets when he's in pain. It almost looks like he's got his ear to his shoulder. His time was 51:25.
Michael Rogers is still on his TT bike
Rogers is now getting a bike change, to his road bike for the climb.
Acevedo is on the climb and looking good.
Van Garderen has gained one minute on Michael Rogers at the time check at the bottom of the climb.
Acevedo is 2 kms from the top
Acevedo is on his road bike and looking very strong on the climb.
Van Garderen is still on his TT bike but he is on the climb behind Rogers and Acevedo.
Rogers is showing signs of pain on his face. That climb is more than 10% and it gets steeper and steeper.
Deignan posts a 52:27
Busche is coming to the finish line. He did not change bikes on the climb and is finishing on his TT bike.
Busche had a good time of 51:21
Rogers is climbing on his road bike, out of his saddle.
Acevedo just finished with 51:33
There are two riders left on course, Rogers and Van Garderen
Rogers is going across now - 49:57.74
Rogers has the third fastest time.
Van Garderen is on his way to the line with the best time of 48:49!
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has won the stage 6 time trial in San Jose. He posted the fastest time of the day, 48:49. He has also increased his lead in the overall classification.
The unofficial top three in the time trial are:
1. Tejay van Garderen (BMC), 48:49
2. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), 49:15
3. Rohan Dennis (Orica-GreenEdge), 49:20
Correction, third placed Rohan Dennis is from Garmin-Sharp.
The unofficial GC:
1. Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
2. Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff), +1:47
3. Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), +2:57
4. Mathias Frank (BMC), +3:21
5. Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman), +3:31
Thank you for following our live coverage of the stage 6 time trial. Please join us again tomorrow for stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California.