Peter Stetina's 47th place in the stage 6 time trial, 2:25 minutes down on Rohan Dennis (BMC), all but ended his aim of finishing on the overall Tour of California podium. The Trek-Segafredo rider started the day in second place, 22 seconds down on yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx - Quick-Step) but slipped to 13th overall and is now 1:24 minutes off the podium.
"In a perfect world, I wanted to keep on the podium, or at least top 5. I really did not want to let everyone down and fall out of the top 10 and that is what happened. It's a disappointment; there is no other way to put it right now," Stetina said in a release from the team.
Stetina was 34th at the 10km intermediate time check but lost time on the ride back into Folsom explaining that couldn't get into a rhythm having left everything out on the road.
"I honestly didn't even feel that bad, but I think my pacing was off and I was fighting too much when it wasn't time to. I think I need to analyze the pacing – I kept going above and below myself instead of dosing the effort; playing a game of catch-up with myself. It was definitely a sub-par performance, but I mean, I finished totally empty," he said.
A climber by trade, Stetina added that in order to be challenging for the overall at stage races, he needs to continue his development against the clock and believes he is the best position to do so considering the resources of the team.
"The climbing is good, and the form is back on track for the Grand Tours and World Tour races, but still my perennial problem is the TT, the weak link. But you know Trek-Segafredo has a top aerodynamics team and they are pretty keen on looking at the file and helping me," he said
With Sunday's stage 8 likely to suit the sprinters, tomorrow's 146.5km Santa Rosa to Santa Rosa stage, with six catergorised climbs, is the final chance for Stetina and the GC men to change their position. With the added advantage of local knowledge, Stetina added he won't stop trying until the race reaches its conclusion and he's given it his all.
"Tomorrow's super hard so it's not over yet," pointed out Stetina. "I know every inch of every road on tomorrow's stage; that's my annual winter training ride when I got to get a six-hour ride in. It's a tough one. It's one of those stages that is almost impossible to control. If the race is aggressive, we will look to be a part of it."
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