Tour of California 2015

May 10-17, 2015, Sacramento, California, Road - 2.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Laura Weislo

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 2 of the Tour of California from Nevada City to Lodi, a 193.7km stage.

  1. 10:58:18 AKDT

    The race kicks off from Nevada City this morning, one of my personal favorite towns in California. The town has hosted the start three times now - though the one in 2011 was rather impromptu. The town was only supposed to host the intermediate sprint that year, but when snow forced the first stage to be cancelled, Nevada City was called upon to hastily organize a stage 2 start because the snow hadn't cleared sufficiently in Tahoe. It went off without a hitch, a testament to the commitment to cycling that this great little city has.

  2. 11:01:05 AKDT

    The peloton is underway for a 1.8km neutral section before blasting off out of Nevada City at high speed.

  3. 11:02:29 AKDT

    Nevada City always brings out the crowds - the sides of the roads are packed with the children from the schools, who have been brought out to cheer the racers on.

  4. 11:06:18 AKDT

    The course doesn't go through Auburn this year, as it has in past years, but passes by on the nearby Auburn-Foresthill Bridge, quite a scenic span that crosses the North Fork of the American River. It is the fourth highest bridge in the USA.

  5. 11:07:35 AKDT

    Mark Cavendish and his Etixx-Quickstep team took perfect control of the Tour of California in the opening stage, netting the stage victory and the first race leader's jersey. Etixx and MTN-Qhubeka did much of the work to pull back the day's four-man breakaway with Peter Sagan's Tinkoff-Saxo team only appearing at the front late in the race "as the TV came on", Cavendish was quick to point out.

    Today's pan flat finish suits Cavendish as well.

  6. 11:10:47 AKDT

    The general classification is still quite tight, but some of the breakaway riders were keen to get in the time bonuses to perhaps get a leg up on the yellow jersey. Will Clarke (Drapac) took out all three yesterday and is just one second shy of Cavendish in the overall. Rob Britton (Smartstop), winner of the Tour of the Gila, is perhaps one of the more dangerous men to gain time, sneaking in four bonus seconds before a mechanical took him out of the breakaway.

    The attacks are already starting as they head out past kilometer 0.

  7. 11:16:52 AKDT

    The first attack came from Will Clarke (Drapac), looking to gain more time, Josh Berry (Jelly Belly), and Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman) are along for the ride, but not gaining much time.

  8. 11:23:38 AKDT

    That breakaway has been absorbed and there has been a new attack from another Clark - this one is Oscar Clark from the Hincapie team. He's got about 15" on the bunch going uphill on the aptly named Rattlesnake Road. It really bites.

  9. 175.1km remaining from 193.1km

    11:30:59 AKDT

    This Clark's break wasn't successful either, but he was soon countered by two riders who put in a gap of 20 seconds on the field. It's Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team) and Markel Irizar (Trek Factory Racing), two seriously strong worldtour riders.

  10. 173.1km remaining from 193.1km

    11:33:21 AKDT

    Oss and Irizar are powering along, being chased by Luis Amaran (Jamis-Hagens Berman), but we're afraid Amaran might have missed the train when it left the station. It's full steam ahead!

  11. 11:38:06 AKDT

    Amaran has been joined by Hincapie's Robin Carpenter in pursuit of our two elite breakaway riders, but they are pulling away - now at 2:35.

  12. 11:39:44 AKDT

    The chasers are being helped by a twisty descent - both Carpenter and Amaran go downhill quite well. They're within a minute of the leaders, chasing separately - Carpenter a dozen seconds behind Amaran.

  13. 11:41:55 AKDT

    Looks like Cavendish's Etixx-Quickstep team is ready to let the breakaway off the leash, there has been a massive slowing and the gap has ballooned to almost three minutes. Amaran is closing in on the leaders, and Carpenter won't be long now.

  14. 165.1km remaining from 193.1km

    11:44:52 AKDT

    At 28km into today's stage, we've now got our break of four and everyone is happy. The continental teams are represented, and the WorldTour guys will have their fun. Gap is at 3:00 even to the field.

  15. 11:48:15 AKDT

    Whew! Time to take a breather after a furious start to the stage and do some recaps of the other great race coverage we have on Cyclingnews - the Giro d'Italia stage was eventful today, but Michael Matthews got his win in the maglia rosa.

    Healing vibes to the riders who crashed in Italy, especially Domenico Pozzovivo who got knocked pretty badly, and the guys who were crashed by a dork on a cruiser on stage 1. We have exclusive footage of the incident.

  16. 11:49:48 AKDT

    Back to California, it looks like Joe Dombrowski is now the leader for Cannondale-Garmin after Andrew Talansky abandoned with a cold yesterday.

  17. 11:52:58 AKDT

    There are three bonus sprint points along the course today, one at km. 40.3 at Meadow Vista, one in Cool (great town name!) at km 68.3, and the last one in El Dorado Hills at km 95.8.

    The main fight today will be for the mountains classification. The first KOM of the race is on CA 49 at km 68.3

  18. 11:55:19 AKDT

    Evan Huffman (Team SmartStop) probably wanted to be in the breakaway today but didn't make it. He told Cyclingnews at the start there would be a lot of competition to get in one.

    "There is just the one KOM, a lot of people will try to get in the breakaway to try and get that jersey for the day, but otherwise the finish is pretty flat."

    The American lives near the course today: "I live in El Dorado hills, we'll go about a mile from my house, so I ride these roads all the time. My mom's going to be out on the course and some friends, and then they will be going to the finish."

  19. 157.1km remaining from 193.1km

    11:57:11 AKDT

    The breakaway just passed the 5km to go to the first sprint for today, they're blazing downhill through narrow, twisty country roads.

  20. 11:58:43 AKDT

    The gap is going out to four minutes now for Oss, Irizar, Amaran and Carpenter.

  21. 154.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:01:36 AKDT

    1km to go to the sprint. The green jersey is on the shoulders of Will Clarke (Drapac), although Cavendish leads that classification, too.

    Clarke told Cyclingnews this morning, "If I can get in the break I'll try for sure (pick up sprint points) but that is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you have a jersey people will know my plan. It's not as easy to put together but we will try anyway."

    He did make the first break, but it was quickly pulled back. None of our breakaway riders have points yet in the sprint competition.

  22. 12:03:54 AKDT

    The results of sprint 1:
    1 Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team)
    2 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing)
    3 Luis Romero Amaran (Jamis - Hagens Berman)

  23. 152.6km remaining from 193.1km

    12:05:16 AKDT

    Carpenter had some pretty strong rides at the Tour of the Gila last week, he's certainly a good man to have in the breakaway. While he's got the sprint points here, he likely won't factor into the green jersey competition but could be in line for the 'most courageous' jersey. He won the similar New Mexico True jersey for his attacking in Tour of the Gila.

  24. 12:07:59 AKDT

    The field is rolling along behind by 4:40 at the moment, just passing the nice crowd at the sprint point. LottoNl-Jumbo's Maarten Wynants had to get a front wheel change, but other than that they're just cruising.

  25. 12:10:14 AKDT

    Cannondale-Garmin is without Tom Danielson this year in Tour of California. The American is over at the Giro d'Italia, where he was one of yesterday's crash victims. You can read here how he's coping.

  26. 12:14:06 AKDT

    The whole start to today's stage has been twisty, narrow little country roads that have been undulating up and down. They're still in the foothills and will pass east of Auburn. It will continue to be this way until they get near the third sprint in El Dorado, where the roads will open up making the peloton's chase much easier.

  27. 143.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:18:50 AKDT

    The leaders are now 50km into today's stage, and that's the time when they're allowed to go back to team cars for bottles.

    Ben-Jacques Maynes is back at the Jamis car getting his saddle fixed. As the race descends from Auburn the wind has picked up quite a bit and could batter the field a bit.

  28. 12:19:39 AKDT

    Cyclingnews spoke with Optum director Jonas Carney this morning, who predicted the wind could cause some splits:

    "There's a definite chance for crosswinds today so there could be some action out there, depending on how strong the wind is an what direction it's coming from. If it doesn't split in the crosswind it will definitely be a field sprint," he said.
     

  29. 138.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:29:15 AKDT

    The breakaway is rolling smoothly on the rolling hills 35 miles into the stage, each rider taking his pull. Back in the field, the pressure will be on Etixx-Quickstep to defend the lead, but Cavendish has already given word to Tinkoff-Saxo that if they want Sagan to have a chance at anything, they'll have to pitch in. Etixx isn't above giving away a stage out of spite. That kind of stand-off was what made the Tour of the Gila opening stage so strange.

    Sagan is under the gun to get results, and we have a new video from team owner Oleg Tinkov, who had another message for his star rider.

  30. 134.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:30:37 AKDT

    The leaders have seen 5km to the first KOM point, sponsored by Lexus who also have provided Cyclingnews with a very nice car to use during the race. Thanks to them.

  31. 12:31:49 AKDT

    The leaders are starting up the KOM now - it's the only one today, a category 4 ascent with 4 points at the top to the first placed rider, then 3,2,1 for the rest.

  32. 12:34:00 AKDT

    The field is screaming down the descent toward the KOM, going almost  80+kph. Ahead, the break is going up the winding road to the sprint point.

  33. 12:35:45 AKDT

    BMC's Michael Schar talked to Cyclingnews today about the team's ambitions. They're without Peter Stetina, who was supposed to be their leader until his awful crash in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

    "Today we have Jempy Drucker, third yesterday, that's a really good result when you see the field of sprinters here. We really trust in him and we want to do a good lead out.

    "We have Daniel Oss who is the perfect lead out guy or could even go for his own sprint, so we're going to do the same scenario like yesterday because you never know, there can be something with Cavendish. He's not unbeatable so we do have a chance and we'll go for this chance."
     

  34. 130.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:38:04 AKDT

    1km to the KOM for the breakaway, it's about 3.5km long and quite steep. A good climb for Irizar, perhaps.

  35. 12:39:28 AKDT

    The leaders have two things to sprint for today: first the KOM, then 4.2km later the second sprint in the super cool town of Cool.

  36. 12:40:02 AKDT

    The breakaway is waiting for the last minute to light up the attacks for the mountains jersey.

  37. 12:41:09 AKDT

    The leaders are through the KOM and on a steep, technical descent that leads to Cool.

  38. 12:42:32 AKDT

    Cool used to be known as Cave Valley, but someone somewhere along the line thought that the name wasn't good enough.

  39. 12:43:57 AKDT

    Carpenter attacked and managed to win the KOM over Oss, Amaran with Irizar behind. So perhaps the mountains jersey is not a goal for the Basque climber.

  40. 12:45:47 AKDT

    Correction KOM results are as follows:
    1 Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team)
    2 Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team)
    3 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing)
    4 Luis Romero Amaran (Jamis - Hagens Berman)

  41. 126.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:48:46 AKDT

    The leaders are now 1km from the Cool sprint. I wonder if the winner gets a set of sunglasses?

  42. 12:51:27 AKDT

    Carpenter is on a real tear out there, known as "Robear", he's now taken both intermediate sprints and the KOM. He'll be in the mountains jersey tomorrow.

    Sprint 2:
    Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team)
    Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing)
    Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team)

  43. 12:55:46 AKDT

    The route descends from Cool on some bumpy little roads. We've got another Rattlesnake-named road on the route today: Rattlesnake Bar. I'm at a loss as to why snakes would be at a bar, though perhaps they get thirsty too.

  44. 119.1km remaining from 193.1km

    12:57:26 AKDT

    The leaders are holding the gap steady at 5:10 right now, but with 120km still to race, can they stay away? 

    If they don't, who can challenge Cavendish today? BMC's Jempy Drucker was hot on Sagan's heels yesterday, and UnitedHealthcare's John Murphy got a very good run to take fourth. But there are some very fast sprinters in the mix that weren't successful on stage 1 - Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka), Wouter Wippert (Drapac), Danny Van Poppel (Trek) and Seba Haedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) are among those who could feature in today's finish.

  45. 13:05:25 AKDT

    Etixx-Quickstep is tapping out a steady tempo on the front of the bunch, holding the breakaway at 5:10, but will they keep working? Yesterday it was only MTN-Qhubeka who pitched in, but the South African team didn't quite get their sprint right. Etixx already has their stage win so aren't under so much pressure. The other teams will need to work more today.

  46. 13:06:43 AKDT

    The breakaway is heading downhill at high speed on a narrow road with no guard rails. The road levels out then ascends slightly en route to the next sprint in El Dorado.

  47. 13:10:34 AKDT

    Another team, like Tinkoff-Saxo, is under the gun to get some results, and that's Cannondale-Garmin. They've been struggling to prove that the sum of the two teams who merged is stronger than the individual parts, and only have two wins this year: one by Ben King and one by Ramunas Navardausaks.

  48. 108.1km remaining from 193.1km

    13:14:23 AKDT

    The leaders have 5k to the feed zone and the gap has fallen to 4:40. No word on who might be pitching in to help or if Etixx is doing the work. They're passing by the Huffman homestead, where the family of the Smartstop rider are sure to be out in force.

  49. 13:15:24 AKDT

    The temperatures are going up as they head out of the hills - from 71F at the start it's now nearing 80, but the stiff breeze will keep them fresh... or not!

  50. 13:20:20 AKDT

    The leaders still have 1km to the feed zone and a 5:30 gap to the field. It's gone out as they descend slightly on the two-lane road lined with ranches and mansions.

  51. 13:23:53 AKDT

    We've got several guesses the catch will come at 8km to go. The riders enter Lodi with 8.3km to go, so that would make it just after the start of the first of 2.5 finishing circuits in the town.

  52. 100.1km remaining from 193.1km

    13:26:21 AKDT

    The leaders are seeing 5km to the third sprint of the day in El Dorado Hills, and the gap is on its way down according to the race radio, now below 4 minutes. We're not sure if there was a mistake earlier or not - seems awfully quick to take two minutes out in only a few kilometers.

    Nearly halfway through the stage! More guesses - 6km, 14km.

  53. 13:27:53 AKDT

    I think everyone in the cycling world can breathe a little sigh of relief. The official word on Pozzovivo came from the Giro organisation:

    Domenico Pozzovivo crashed in the descent of Barbagelata (28 km of the finish of Stage 3 of Giro d’Italia). He has been transferred to Genova Hospital where he undergoes complete medical examination. « Domenico suffers from a cranial-facial trauma but the scanner reveals no intra-cranial lesion. He has deep wounds above his right eye and received slitches. He is conscious and lucid but has no memory of the crash » says Doctor Eric Bouvat, AG2R LA MONDIALE Pro Cycling Team Medical Manager in relation with Doctor Roberto Parravicini, Team’s doctor in the Giro.

  54. 13:28:52 AKDT

    You can read the full story on Pozzovivo's crash in this detailed story here.

  55. 13:30:47 AKDT

    We've had a number of fantastic videos from the Giro and Tour of California this week. If you missed them on our site, please subscribe to our Youtube channel!

    Our latest is a nice interview with Dame Sarah Storey on the team she created.

  56. 13:32:50 AKDT

    It seems as though our breakaway has met Mr. Headwind and he's giving them grief. They've got 1km to go to the sprint.

  57. 97.1km remaining from 193.1km

    13:35:07 AKDT

    The gap to the leaders is now steady at 3:40, but four men against a peloton of riders into the wind is not good for their odds.

    Carpenter has perfected the sprints, and has now swept all of the bonuses along the way.

    Sprint 3: 
    1 Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team)
    2 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Trek Factory Racing)
    3 Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team)
     

  58. 13:37:56 AKDT

    The crowds are gathering in Lodi, which, we're told isn't pronounced like it looks. Rather than low-DEE, it's LOH-DIE with equal emphasis on each syllable. The riders aren't on a particularly fast schedule today, so they should be galloping into town around 3:50 local time.

  59. 13:54:48 AKDT

    With another bunch sprint likely today, Etixx-QuickStep's Mark Renshaw will figure into the finale once again. Cavendish's lead out man crashed yesterday after he hit a pothole, but he recovered in time to provide a perfect lead out for the Manx Missile. Cyclingnews asked him about the crash before today's stage.

     

    "Yesterday was a lot of pressure, you know the first day. We needed a result because obviously we've come with the best sprinter. It wasn't ideal crashing quite hard on my head and shoulder, but I hit a fairly decent pothole. I was glad I could wipe off a little bit of speed before I crashed. I am a bit sore all through the right side. I still feel the effects today but hopefully tomorrow it will be a bit better and today we'll try and do the same thing as yesterday."

     

  60. 97.1km remaining from 193.1km

    13:57:53 AKDT

    The gap is holding at three minutes as the riders are on a part of the course now with multiple turns. Everytime they turn they get hit with winds from a new direction.

     

  61. 13:59:48 AKDT

    Sky's Danny Pate is getting some service, but he should be back in the field soon.

     

  62. 76km remaining from 193.1km

    14:06:56 AKDT

    The Etixx-Quickstep team is on front controlling the gap right at three minutes as the break is nearing the 75km to go point.

  63. 14:08:19 AKDT

    Tinkoff-Saxo has come to the front now that the television cameras are on, and the LottoNl-Jumbo boys are waiting just behind Etixx, their bright yellow jerseys creating a visual sensation next to Optum's orange helmets.

  64. 14:11:49 AKDT

    The race is heading directly into the wind as they head down toward Lodi, but there might be some opportunities to split the bunch in a crosswind after they cross out of Sacramento County and turn west toward Lodi with about 30km to go.

  65. 14:13:21 AKDT

    The landscape around the race today is surprisingly green considering the extreme drought that California has been experiencing. There has been some rain here and there over the winter, but nothing to really turn the situation around. The cattle the peloton are passing seem happy to have green grass to munch on.

  66. 14:16:10 AKDT

    It's a little confusing with the new jersey designs this year, the race leader is yellow with blue, the points classification isn't green anymore, it's sort of neon yellow and green, and the mountains, young rider and most courageous jerseys are predominantly white. At least the mountains jersey has polka dots, so Carpenter will be pretty obvious on the bunch tomorrow.

  67. 69km remaining from 193.1km

    14:18:29 AKDT

    We can see a car pulled off on the left side of the road as the peloton passes by. It's pretty remarkable how the California Highway Patrol keeps the peloton safe - they have no fewer than six patrol cars ahead of the race, plus motorcycles to catch drivers who might get onto the course. There are many layers of ways to stop vehicles...

    The peloton is having a mass pee-break, so expect the leaders to get a little more time here.

  68. 67km remaining from 193.1km

    14:20:10 AKDT

    Robin Carpenter (Hincapie) is pulling the breakaway along with Irizar, Amaran behind as Oss comes back from the BMC car with a bottle. 

  69. 14:23:07 AKDT

    The Drapac squad are doing a whole US campaign this year, and have been riding quite well. In Tour of the Gila they came close to a stage win with Wouter Wippert in the criterium. The Dutch rider won a stage in the Tour Down Under and is hoping to get back to beating the top riders in the world here in California.

  70. 14:24:08 AKDT

    The pee break has given the breakaway just the break they needed, and their gap is up to 3:45 as the peloton still relies on the pace making of one lonely Tinkoff-Saxo rider.

  71. 14:25:55 AKDT

    Will Clarke's points classification jersey looks a lot like Peter Sagan's Slovakian champion's jersey, but luckily Sagan is wearing polka dots even though there were no mountains on stage 1, the sponsors still want their kit out there.

  72. 63km remaining from 193.1km

    14:26:43 AKDT

    Unitedhealthcare have two riders needing wheels, so they'll have some work to do to get back into the race.

  73. 14:29:25 AKDT

    Luis Amaran is getting an extra boost from a cola, it's been a long day for the Jamis-Hagens Berman rider.

    Back in the bunch, Etixx has come to the fore and ticked 15 seconds off the breakaway's advantage. 

    A Jamis rider in the field has had to stop for a wheel change.

  74. 14:30:11 AKDT

    Correction, it was Warren Baruil (Giant-Alpecin) who stopped for a change. He's back underway and enjoying the draft provided by the Optum team car.

  75. 59.5km remaining from 193.1km

    14:31:44 AKDT

    The cap really isn't coming down very fast, still hovering at 3:35, and the guesses in our "guess the catch" game are going down. Our latest is 4km to go. When do you think they'll come back, if at all? Tweet to @cyclingnewsfeed!

  76. 14:33:03 AKDT

    Jesus Hernandez, who has been tapping out that pace in the peloton, is Alberto Contador's normal right-hand man. But rather than race the Giro d'Italia, he's been held back for the Tour de France and is getting some good tempo work here in California.

  77. 14:35:36 AKDT

    Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan are having a discussion - what do you think they're talking about? How many riders Tinkoff will put on the front? Whether or not they agree with Oleg Tinkov's comments about Sagan's form? Comparing salaries? 

  78. 55km remaining from 193.1km

    14:38:36 AKDT

    Daniel Oss is quite the videographer, though personally we think Tiffany Cromwell's video blog has been superior...

    the gap is still 3:40 with 55km to go for our leaders.

  79. 14:41:45 AKDT

    Cannondale-Garmin have come to the fore now that the turn into the crosswind is getting closer. It's still about 20k away, but we're starting to see some nervous energy in the bunch.

  80. 14:42:25 AKDT

    MTN-Qhubeka is waiting in the wings so far. Yesterday they really took control but came up short. Tyler Farrar told Cyclingnews this morning: "Cavendish is certainly the man to beat. They rode a perfect sprint yesterday and he was impressively fast. We'll take another crack at it today and hope that we can put it together. "
     

  81. 14:46:07 AKDT

    Actually there is a kilometer of crosswinds coming up in 4km, the breakaway are going into the wind still, but it looks to have let up some.

  82. 48km remaining from 193.1km

    14:48:47 AKDT

    Yet another issue for Maarten Wynants (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) - he had to have a wheel change earlier today and is back behind the cars after another.

  83. 14:50:02 AKDT

    One of the Etixx riders has gone up to have a talk to the motorcycle leading the peloton. Perhaps it was a little too close.

  84. 46km remaining from 193.1km

    14:51:54 AKDT

    The leaders have just three minutes on the field now, with 46km left to race. Cue the theme from Jaws...

  85. 14:53:23 AKDT

    There has been a serious increase in the pace in the peloton as they head toward the turn into the crosswind. Etixx is drilling it.

  86. 14:54:18 AKDT

    Unfortunately for Quickstep, the ranch along this road has a fence acting as a bit of a wind-break. It's not splitting up the bunch at all, but they are lined out.

  87. 14:56:32 AKDT

    Back into the headwind, the Etixx team lets Hernandez take over, the gap to the break is not falling very fast. It's at 2:55. It should be enough to get them caught, however - but the teams do not want to make the catch too early because then they have to control more attacks.

  88. 40.5km remaining from 193.1km

    15:00:44 AKDT

    Alfacti goes back to the team car for a gel and some information, he then gets back into the rotation hoping that 2:40 is enough to keep them away for the next 40km.

  89. 15:03:07 AKDT

    Looks like the peloton have a cross-headwind and Van Keirsbulck is only giving a few riders a chance to draft, one of them is Hernandez.

  90. 37km remaining from 193.1km

    15:04:31 AKDT

    The breakaway are having to work very hard now, and the effort helps them bring the gap out to three minutes solid with 37km to go.

  91. 30km remaining from 193.1km

    15:11:02 AKDT

    Just over 30km left in the race, and the leaders are still at 3:20, it looks like Etixx is going to play this one fast and loose. Normally, 10 seconds per kiliometer are needed to bring a break back, and right now it looks like if they're caught it will be quite close to the finish.

  92. 27.8km remaining from 193.1km

    15:18:22 AKDT

    The peloton are on the road where we expected crosswinds, but the peloton isn't showing crosswind formation. Etixx is still not managing to pull the break back, it's at 3:20 but expect it to fall as more riders are pulling through now. An MTN-Qhubeka rider is up there, too.

  93. 25km remaining from 193.1km

    15:21:12 AKDT

    The wind seems to be doing nothing but slowing down the leaders, and the peloton is really going now, the gap is down to 2:40 suddenly.

  94. 22.5km remaining from 193.1km

    15:25:07 AKDT

    The flag held by the spectator on the road side shows the breakaway are fighting a rather stiff headwind. It's a valiant effort by Carpenter, Oss, Amaran and Irizar, and holding them at 2:40 with 22.5km to go.

  95. 20km remaining from 193.1km

    15:28:13 AKDT

    The gap is really falling fast now that Johan Van Zyl (VanSnail on twitter) takes a pull. It's down to 2:15, and back on track for the break to be caught on the final circuit.

  96. 15:30:32 AKDT

    The roads are now multi-lane smooth and wide, and the pointy end of the peloton is sharp-sharp. Maciej Bodnar picks it up for Tinkoff-Saxo.

  97. 15:32:16 AKDT

    The difference in freshness between the break and the field is really showing now. Just 1:45 separates them, and it's falling fast. There are new faces at the front of the field, with MTN-Qhubeka working hard for Ciolek, Farrar and Goss.

  98. 15:33:34 AKDT

    There is a lot of movement in the peloton now as riders start to get into position for the entry into the finishing circuits, where things are going to get hairy.

  99. 15:34:17 AKDT

    The Zinfandel vines are nice and green against the brown soil - this county is famous for their Zins.

  100. 14.7km remaining from 193.1km

    15:36:27 AKDT

    It's 14.7km to go and 1:15, so the breakaway is losing ground much quicker now - it's still Tinkoff contributing to the pace, perhaps embarrassed by Cavendish's less than flattering comments in the press conference yesterday.

  101. 13.2km remaining from 193.1km

    15:38:00 AKDT

    The Etixx team has the bunch strung out just 1:05 behind the leaders and those team cars are going to be pulled from the gap now. They're hammering!

  102. 15:38:59 AKDT

    The peloton just bunched up and many other trains came forward. Now it's Optum at the front as the peloton splits around a median.

  103. 11km remaining from 193.1km

    15:40:11 AKDT

    Optum seems confident in Guillaume Boivin, but Etixx and Tinkoff aren't going to let any Continental upstarts take over.

  104. 11km remaining from 193.1km

    15:40:50 AKDT

    Just 45 seconds now as they're in Lodi for the final circuits! They bunch up wide into the turn, and have plenty of lanes to work with.

  105. 15:41:44 AKDT

    Oh no! there's been a big crash, MTN, Jumbo, Jelly Belly - 15 riders down or more.

  106. 15:42:25 AKDT

    This is outside of the final 3km so Barguil, who is Giant's GC hopeful is down and losing time. Also down is Fred Rodriguez.

  107. 15:43:17 AKDT

    That crash in the 10km to go mark really disrupted things, the break has 30 seconds.

    Up ahead Amaran is dropped from the break.

  108. 15:43:59 AKDT

    Oh no, Ben Jacques-Maynes is on the ground, too. He's the only rider to race all 10 Tours of California and will retire after the finish.

  109. 15:44:25 AKDT

    Peter Kennaugh was delayed in the crash, too. The break is in the circuit and in sight of the peloton.

  110. 15:44:58 AKDT

    Jacques-Maynes was holding his shoulder. Oh dear oh dear.

    Drapac is on the front of the bunch hoping to deliver Wippert to the stage win.

  111. 15:45:53 AKDT

    The breakaway are trying very hard, but with 7km to go they're just sitting ducks.

  112. 15:47:15 AKDT

    It seems that the crash might have caused more of a disruption than we knew, the gap is back out with 6km to go at 20 seconds.

  113. 15:48:02 AKDT

    Most of our guess the catch guessers have been wiped out already. We have one that was 4km to go that looks pretty good right now. They're at 4.4km to go with 10 seconds.

  114. 15:48:23 AKDT

    Barguil is one-leg pedalling to the finish, not a great sign.

  115. 3.6km remaining from 193.1km

    15:49:11 AKDT

    The peloton aren't lined out yet, but still catch the breakaway as they cross the line with one lap to go!

  116. 15:49:47 AKDT

    Drapac have lost the front now as Etixx-Quickstep bring their world-class lead out back to the fore.

  117. 15:50:21 AKDT

    There is no control, everyone dives to the front for the squeeze, Tinkoff emerge with an equal share of the front, Sagan and Cavendish locked in battle.

  118. 15:51:10 AKDT

    Drapac are tucked in, but the turns are keeping them from being able to get by. Sagan's boys seem to have the advantage now with just under 2km to go.

  119. 15:51:49 AKDT

    BMC are now on the Etixx train for Drucker, but Cavendish is locked on Sagan.

  120. 1km remaining from 193.1km

    15:52:07 AKDT

    One more turn and then it's 1km to go.

  121. 15:52:35 AKDT

    Renshaw is going elbow-to-elbow with Tinkoff as the leadout ramps up!

  122. 15:52:57 AKDT

    Jumbo has a rider up there too, but it is Tinkoff in the lead

  123. 15:53:08 AKDT

    Wippert jumps early!

  124. 15:53:27 AKDT

    Cavendish gets around Wippert on the left, Sagan on the right, but who won?

  125. 15:54:19 AKDT

    MTN's train went off the rails ... Cavendish gets another win.

  126. 15:56:10 AKDT

    Looks to be Cavendish, Sagan, and Wippert the top three today. Cavendish keeps the race lead, Sagan will wear the points jersey tomorrow though Cav leads that too, Robin Carpenter will take polka dots.

  127. 15:58:01 AKDT

    Today's results

    1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 4:47:02
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:00
    3 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:00:00
    4 John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:00
    5 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:00
    6 Jempy Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team 0:00:00
    7 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman 0:00:00
    8 Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:00
    9 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop 0:00:00
    10 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:00

    General classification after stage 2

    1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 9:30:09
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:08
    3 Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team 0:00:11
    4 William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:00:11
    5 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:14
    6 Jempy Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team 0:00:16
    7 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:00:16
    8 Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 0:00:16
    9 Luis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis - Hagens Berman 0:00:19
    10 John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:20

  128. 16:03:30 AKDT

    Thanks for reading, we'll be back tomorrow for another fun stage - the next is a circuit out and back from San Jose, twisting up and over Mt Hamilton before plunging back to for an uphill finish.

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