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Start location: Ontario
End location: Mt. Baldy
Welcome to live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California stage 5. The queen stage will begin in Ontario and take the riders first over Glendora Ridge Rd followed by a climb over Glendora Mountain Rd before finishing at the summit of Mt. Baldy.
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Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California queen stage 5!
The riders are lining up at the start in Ontario. We are about 10 minutes away from the neutral start.
Today is a big day for the peloton as the riders will take on the queen stage, which showcases two KOM ascents and two intermediate sprints before summiting Mt. Baldy for the finish. This final climb was used in both 2012 and 2015 editions won by Robert Gesink and Julian Alaphilippe, respectively.
Today could very well decide the overall winner of the Amgen Tour of California.
The riders have two minutes to the start.
An attack on stage 2's Mt. Hamilton, 50km from the finish, set up the current GC standings. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) leads George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) by two seconds, Ian Boswell (Team Sky) by 14 seconds and Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) by 16.
And the riders are rolling out. They will complete a 2km neutral start before officially beginning the race.
Cyclingnews' reporter Ted Burns spoke with George Bennett at the start of today's stage. When asked how he was feeling, the overall contender replied,
"Same as every other day, I guess. It's a big day but maybe tomorrow could be even more decisive. Today is my chance and opportunity. We've also got Robert as well."
Some riders believe that an early breakaway might go. Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) said,
"I raced it two years ago and it was hard. I think a breakaway should go, while the GC riders will wait for the last six kilometres."
Sep Kuss, Rally's newcomer and climbing talent, spoke with Ted Burns at the start.
"I think we will try to get some guys in the breakaway, maybe go for some KOM points. It should be hard from the gun. I just have to stay in the front. I think everyone will be pretty tired by the time we get to the last climb. After that, it will be survival mode."
Rally had a fantastic day during yesterday's stage 4, with a one-two finish with breakaway duo Evan Huffman and Rob Britton.
Let’s talk a little bit about today’s stage.
The queen stage started in Ontario and almost immediately began a gradual climb toward the first of two intermediate sprints located in San Antonio Heights.
The peloton will continue with a righthand turn onto Mt. Baldy Rd for the start of the first KOM. They will turn left on to Glendora Ridge Rd a climb 9.2km at 6.8% average grade (a section of the course that they will return to in the opposite direction later in the race).
Following the sweeping descent off of Glendora Ridge Rd. the peloton will loop around the Morris and San Gabriel Reservoirs and then through Glendora for the second intermediate sprint.
That will signal the end of the flat/rolling terrain and the route will then kick up as they race back onto Glendora Mountain Rd for the start of the second KOM, which is 12.6km at 5.1%. For those cyclist who have competed in events on the US calendar, you may recognize this portion of the stage. The first section of this climb on Glendora Mountain Rd. is used as the opening uphill time trial at the San Dimas Stage Race.
The climbing doesn’t end there, after some undulating terrain, the route kicks up again, this time for the finale toward the summit of Mt. Baldy. This final climb is 8.2km averaging 8.4%.
There is a breakaway of 20 riders that have established a 25-second gap. We will get those names for you momentarily.
The gap has stretched out to 45 seconds.
The large group is now 24 riders and they are heading toward the first sprint of the day.
Team Sunweb's Johannes Fröhlinger has crashed but he appears to be OK. He has gotten back up quickly and is receiving support.
The 24-rider breakaway now has 55 seconds on the main bunch.
Tiago Machado (Katusha) won the sprint out of the breakaway ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Breakaway riders are:
Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)
Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors)
Martin Elmiger (BMC)
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Erik Baska (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac)
Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac)
Tiago Machado (Katusha)
Nils Politt (Katusha)
Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo)
Rob Britton (Rally)
Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally)
Evan Huffman (Rally)
Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
Lennard Hofstede (Team Sunweb)
Artyom Zakharov (Astana)
Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)
Greg Henderson (UHC)
Daniel Jaramillo (UHC)
David Lozano Riba (Novo Nordisk)
Sean Bennett (Jelly Belly)
Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly)
Yoann Bagot (Cofidis)
The gap is now 1:20 as they ride toward Mountain Ridge Rd.
Craddock and Baska have been dropped from the large breakaway.
There are seven riders attacking that 20-some-rider lead group.
The front group has been reduced to 16 riders with a 2:10 gap.
The seven riders who attacked the breakaway were Machado, Trentin, Kennaugh, Sagan, Britton, Hofstede and Bauer.
But there is a little bit of reshuffling among these groups as riders continue attacking on the slopes of Glendora Ridge Rd.
Truls Kirsaeth (Astana) is also in the move.
The riders are racing up Mt. Baldy Rd, which will veer onto Glendora Ridge Rd for the start of the first KOM.
This climb is 9.2km at 6.8% grade.
The lead group is establishing itself with Trentin and Bauer, Peter Sagan, Bagot, Hofstede, Lindemann, KOM leader Jaramillo and Korsaeth, along with Britton and Huffman, who finished one-two in yesterday's stage 4 after being in the breakaway all day.
The mountain classification standings are as follows:
1 Daniel Jaramillo (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 24 pts
2 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data 16
3 Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 14
4 Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling 13
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 12
Rally's Rob Britton and Evan Huffman were in the winning breakaway during stage 4 and tried to pick up KOM points, but it wasn't enough to surge ahead of UHC's Daniel Jaramillo.
All three riders are in the current breakaway, and we can expect Jaramillo to try and secure more point toward his mountain classification lead.
The breakaway is one kilometre from the top of the KOM on Glendora Ridge Rd.
Jaramillo currently has 24 points while Huffman has 13.
Huffman – stage 4 winner and most courageous on the day, spoke with Cyclingnews' Pat Malach at the start of today's stage.
Asked if he had anything left in the tank for today after yesterday’s big day, he said,
"If I do we’ll find out pretty soon. Our plan is basically the same: try to put guys in the break. So I’m going to try. It was pretty hard yesterday so I’m feeling pretty tired, but I think most of the peloton is probably in the same boat as me, feeling pretty fatigued, so I’ll just try and see how it goes. Really there’s not too much pressure or too much to lose. We’re in a good spot."
In a surge to the line, Jaramillo took top mountain points atop Glendora Ridge Rd, ahead of Huffman and Machado.
#AMGENTOC 13 riders now lead the race with around 90km to go. They have a 3'50" lead over the peloton with a few chase groups in between.
@BMCProTeam Thu, 18th May 2017 20:11:24
Riders are catching back up to the leaders following the first KOM. The group is descending and they will soon make their way around the flatter section of the course, alongside the Morris and San Gabriel Reservoirs and then through Glendora for the second intermediate sprint.
Behind the lead group, there are several smaller groups that will likely reunite once they are at the bottom of the descent.
This stage could potentially decide the overall winner of the Amgen Tour of California. Organisers have used the summit of Mt Baldy on two previous occasions; Robert Gesink won the stage in 2012 and Julian Alaphilippe won in 2015.
In 2012, Gesink out-sprinted John Darwin Atapuma (then racing for Colombia Coldeportes), while the Colombian's teammate Fabio Duarte claimed third.
In 2015, Alaphilippe won, sprinting away from runner-up Sergio Henao, who finished 23 seconds down with teammate Ian Boswell.
And of course, we can't forget that the Tour of California included Mt. Baldy in its 2011 edition as well! Then RadioShack teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner went one-two, respectively, while Laurens ten Dam was third. Horner also solidified his overall race lead on this stage that year.
Following the first KOM on Glendora Ridge Rd, Jaramillo increased his lead to 36 points ahead of Huffman with 20.
The main field is starting to pick up those riders who were dropped from the initial breakaway on Glendora Ridge Rd.
Special thanks to José Been for sending us a link to the climbing records for Mt. Baldy, 8.1km with an average grade of 8.4% (although this year the race guide lists the distance at 8.2km).
Julian Alaphilippe raced up it in 24:42 with an average speed of 19.68km/h in 2015.
Robert Gesink recorded a time of 25:00 with an average speed of 19.43km/h in 2012
Levi Leipheimer recorded the fastest time of 24:32 with an average speed of 19.81km/h.
The 13-man lead group is holding 3:25 over the main field. Greg Henderson from the American UnitedHealthcare team is the highest placed on GC in that move. He is currently in 23rd place at 4:43 behind overall leader Rafal Majka.
Henderson is currently racing with a broken wrist (in a cast) and spent the earlier stages helping the team's sprinter Travis McCabe on the flatter stages.
Check out our latest podcast here: Giro d’Italia: Will Dumoulin keep the climbers at bay? - Podcast
The breakaway is racing along the reservoirs of Morris and San Gabriel. They will soon hit the second intermediate sprint in Glendora before starting the back-to-back climbs of Glendora Mountain Rd to the top of Mt. Baldy.
What a great race it has been for Rally. Huffman and Britton are, again, in the day's breakaway after finishing one-two, respectively yesterday.
Britton, runner-up on stage 4, spoke with Cyclingnews' Pat Malach at the start today and said,
"I think today we’ll probably try to go with a similar plan. We’ll try to get a few guys up the road. That’s all we have now. With the KOM we got some points yesterday, so if Evan and I can get up the road again and claw some more points back, it will kind if put us back in the running for that compeition.
"Ideally getting any guys up the road and having a crack at it as long as possible in the plan.
"It’s a short day, and the only way to make it hard on Bora is to make it hard at the start. I’ve seen guys on trainers, so that’s a little concerning. Yeah. I probably should have done that, maybe, but I’m still warmed up from yesterday.
"It will be ballistic at the start, for sure."
The breakaway is holding at roughly 3 minutes. But the current overall GC riders are sitting back in the main field and likely banking on the final two climbs up Glendora Mountain Rd and Mt. Baldy.
Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) currently leads George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) by two seconds, Ian Boswell (Team Sky) by 14 seconds and Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) by 16.
Following yesterday's stage 4 finish in Santa Clarita, Majka said that if he felt good he would attack.
"I will have a lot of support from the team and I hope to have a great day. It's the first time that I will do this climb [Mt Baldy] so we will see how it goes and how my legs are. If I have good legs then I will try to attack but if I'm tired I might follow. I hope I have good legs."
Boswell, third overall at 14 seconds, told Cyclingnews’ Pat Malach:
"I don't really see anyone going early. A couple of years ago [Chris] Horner tried to go the first time up Glendora Ridge. I don't think anyone is going to try that. Or maybe now that I've said this they will.
"I would imagine that going into the last 20 minutes, which is what I consider is really the climb, it will be a group of 15-20 guys there and then a selection from there as we saw in 2015."
Morton, fourth overall at 16 seconds, said that the Baldy climb neutralises team tactics, and it will come down to who has the best legs on race day.
"You can make really big time difference in the final five miles [of Mt. Baldy]. I think we're in for a really big showdown."
You can read the full story here
- 35.5km remaining from 125.5km
Britton has made a move and is looking to get ahead of the breakaway riders as they approach Glendora Mountain Rd.
LottoNL-Jumbo riders are taking massive turns on the front of the field. This team has two potential winners in George Bennett, second overall at two seconds back and Robert Gesink, fifth place at 48 seconds back.
Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) has jumped out of the breakaway to join Britton. The pair are now leading the race by 30 seconds.
Tiago Machado is is trying to bridge across to the two leaders. He will need to make up 30 seconds.
The rest of the original breakaway is almost one minute behind Britton and Kennaugh, and the peloton is 2:35 back.
Britton is looking very strong and smooth, not at all like he was in an all-day breakaway yesterday. Kennaugh is having trouble staying on his wheel.
- 34.5km remaining from 125.5km
Britton has decided to go ahead alone. He has established roughly 15 seconds on Kennaugh, as the pair ride on separately toward the second KOM on Glendora Mountain Rd.
There are 32km to go to the finish line. Right now, Britton is looking very strong on Glendora Mountain Rd.
Glendora Mountain Rd hosts the second KOM, which is 12.6km at 5.1%.
Britton is seated as he pushes on the pedals. Kennaugh is sitting and standing as he struggles to stay ahead of the chasers. Machado is slightly further back. All three riders are riding on their own.
Quick-Step Floors teammates Trentin and Bauer are pulling the chase group behind Britton, Kennaugh and Machado, but they have a 1:15-minute gap to close to Britton.
- 29.5km remaining from 125.5km
Machado is about to be caught by the chase group. He gave it a good effort but he wasn't close enough to catch Britton. They will soon catch Kennaugh.
There is 1km to go to the top of Glendora Mountain Rd. Britton will pick up those points but he will not put a dent in Jaramillo's overall mountain classification lead. Britton is likely going for the stage win today.
World champion and points leader Peter Sagan (BOra-Hansgrohe) just took a turn on the front of the chase group, giving Quick-Step Floors' riders Bauer and Trentin some reprieve.
Britton just crossed the KOM line. He has 40 seconds on Kennaugh, 1:40 to the chase group and 3:00 on the main field.
Huffman just attacked out of the chase group but Jaramillo tagged on to that move.
Jaramillo took the second-place points at the top of the KOM and Huffman was third.
- 25.5km remaining from 125.5km
Britton is now descending Glendora Mountain Rd and on his way toward the start of the final ascent of Mt. Baldy.
Britton has shown himself as a strong stage racer. He was third overall at the USA Pro Challenge in 2015. He also won the overall title at the Tour of the Gila that year. He was also fifth overall at the Tour of Utah in 2016.
Britton has extended his lead on the main field by another 10 seconds, gap is now 3:05.
Britton is flying down a sweeping section on Glendora Mountain Rd. Although there are some small downhill parts, this section of the race is mainly uphill. He has another 17km to go until he reaches the base of Mt. Baldy.
Kennaugh is still stuck in no man's land almost one minute behind Britton and one minute ahead of the chase group led by Quick-Step Floors riders Bauer and Trentin.
Peter Sagan has dropped out of the original breakaway and has gone back to the main field led by LottoNL-Jumbo.
Lindeman has also dropped back to the main field to help his LottoNL-Jumbo teammates.
- 20.5km remaining from 125.5km
Britton has just under 20km to go and a lot more climbing. But he certainly has a strong lead of one minute ahead of lone chaser Kennaugh, 2 minutes to the larger chase group and 2:35 to the main field led by LottoNL-Jumbo.
Chase rider Bagot told Cyclingnews at the start of the race that he thought there would be a winning breakaway.
"It is a big day. The queen stage and a day for the GC. It's possible the breakaway might win today."
- 17.5km remaining from 125.5km
The main field is about the catch the group of riders who where in the original breakaway. LottoNL-Jumbo has five riders on the front of the field working for Bennett and Gesink. They can see the small breakaway group just ahead.
Peter Sagan is settling into the main field just behind LottoNL-Jumbo.
- 15.5km remaining from 125.5km
Britton is still looking very strong as he climbs the steady slopes of Glendora Mountain Rd. He will soon see the steeper slopes of Mt. Baldy Rd.
Kennaugh is struggling on his own at 1:15 behind Britton... as is Bauer, who is 1:50 behind.
Bauer is about to be reabsorbed into the main field.
LottoNL-Jumbo is looking strong. Gesink is sitting behind his teammate in second position and Bennett is just behind him in third position.
Ian Boswell (Team Sky) is sitting in just behind LottoNL-Jumbo duo Gesink and Bennett. Yellow jersey Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) is on Boswell's wheel.
The overall GC contenders are starting to move forward and likely considering their next moves during the last 11km of this stage.
LottoNL-Jumbo have stormed passed Kennaugh and now the only rider left out front is Britton.
The Rally rider is holding just under 2 minutes on the chase group but it is not a sure bet that he will win this stage. The hardest part of the race is still to come.
The climb to the top of Mt. Baldy is 8.2km and averages 8.4%
Britton is losing time, down to 1:15 to the chase group of overall contenders.
- 9.5km remaining from 125.5km
All of the GC contenders have at least one rider left in the small main field to help ahead of the base of Mt. Baldy
Britton is riding through the town of Mt. Baldy as fans step out to cheer for the race.
Britton is now on Mt. Baldy. He is seeing 8km to go and the hardest part of the race.
Britton's gap has been slashed in half, now only 45 seconds from the main field.
Andrew Talansky is still in the main field sitting on his teammate Nathan Brown's wheel, and looking quite good.
Dimension Data has taken the lead of the main field with Lachlan Morton sitting in tight near the front, Cannondale-Drapac's Brown and Talansky are sitting right behind them, as LottoNL-Jumbo riders move further back.
- 6.5km remaining from 125.5km
Yellow jersey Rafal Majka is also in the mix with one Bora-Hansgrohe teammate at his disposal.
They are getting to the steeper sections of the climb, now maxing out at 10%.
Britton is only holding on to a slim 20-second lead. He's had a great ride over the last two stages, with a second-place finish yesterday, but it doesn't look like he will get the stage win today.
Britton's teammate Sep Kuss (Rally) has just launched an attack.
Lachlan Morton is also making a strong move, followed by Brent Bookwalter (BMC).
5km to go and Robert Gesink has been dropped on the steeper sections of Mt. Baldy.
Andrew Talansky is pushing the pace on the steepest section of the climb. Bookwalter is stuck to his wheel followed by Morton. Yellow jersey Majka is sitting in the group watching and waiting.
Bookwalter moves to the front but all of the GC contenders are following close behind.
Bookwalter pulls off to the side and Morton takes over the pace setting. Bennett, Majka, Boswell, Talansky.
Talansky attacks and Majka follows.
There are now three leaders: Morton, Talansky Bookwalter... but Boswell closes the gap with Majka on his wheel.
There are seven riders still together: Talansky, Majka, Morton, Bookwalter, Boswell, Bennett, Oomen.
Talansky attacks again but Majka and Bennett follow.
- 3.5km remaining from 125.5km
Only 3km to go and Talansky, Majka and Bennett are leading this race on Mt. Baldy.
Boswell is chasing and trying to catch back up to the three leaders.
Bennett is only 2 seconds behind Majka in the overall classification. Talansky is 48 seconds down in the overall.
Boswell has made a huge effort to close the gap to Talansky, Majka and Bennett. He's made the contact and now there are four riders heading out the final 2km.
Majka makes his move.
Bennett hesitated and looks to Talansky and Boswell to work. Their reaction was too late.
Talansky attacks Bennett and Boswell, and tries to bridge up to Majka.
Talansky gets across to Majka as does Bennett.
Talansky keeps the pace high but Boswell is also able to reconnect with the group.
Talansky makes his way to the front again but Majka is quick to move onto his wheel followed by Bennett.
Boswell is starting to struggle as he falls off pace.
Bennett attacks with 1km to go but Majka responds and does not let either rider gain any time.
Majka is leading the trio but Bennett jumps around him as Talansky gets dropped.
There are time bonuses on the line 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Bennett is only 2 seconds behind Majka in the overall, Boswell 14 seconds back.
Boswell is back in the mix as is Talansky.
Four-man sprint. Talansk sprints, Majka tries to respond.
Talansky takes the stage win!
It was a strong ride by Andrew Talansky, who was the most aggressive rider on that climb today. Well-derserved stage win for the American from Cannondale-Drapac.
Talansky picked up the 10-second time bonus but he started the day 48 seconds down on GC.
Majka finished second place and will hold on to the overall leader's jersey heading into the stage 6 time trial.
Bennett finished third.
Boswell was fourth and Bookwalter fifth.
Stage 5 brief results:
1 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 03:43:15
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:00
3 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:00:02
4 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 00:00:05
5 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:08
6 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:20
7 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data 00:00:27
8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:40
9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:00:00
10 Sepp Kuss (USA) Rally Cycling 00:00:56
General classifiction after stage 5
1 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 19:47:57
2 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:00:06
3 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 00:00:25
4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 00:00:44
5 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data 00:00:49
6 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:01:02
7 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:01:14
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:01:31
9 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 00:01:34
10 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 00:01:50
The riders will contest the flat 24km time trial at Big Bear Lake tomorrow.
Andrew Talansky is sporting a huge smile as he stands on the podium and collects his flowers - fans cheering.
Bennett remains in second place overall but he is now six seconds behind Majka. Boswell is in third at 25 seconds back. They will no doubt want to put forth a strong time trial at Big Bear Lake tomorrow, along with other contenders who still have a shot at taking the overall lead.
Stage winner Talansky said a few words following the stage,
"When we hit the final climb, I knew I felt good. But when I knew I didn't have a chance to shake Bennett, Majka and Boswell, I decided to go for the stage win.
"I've never been at the front of this finish before. I knew there was that last corner and how I needed to take it.
"I'd prefer to be in the yellow jersey right now but we won the stage today and I'll enjoy that. Tomorrow we will focus on the time trial. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose and life goes on."
Overall leader Rafal Majka said, "When I see the time trial, 24km, I will try to keep this jersey."
Thanks for following our live coverage of stage 5 at the Amgen Tour of California. Join us tomorrow for the stage 6 time trial at Big Bear Lake.