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Live coverage

Tour of California 2011: Stage 6


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California.  Today we'll be bringing you coverage of the individual time trial in Solvang.  The first rider will go off at 12:45 pm local PDT.

The first rider off is Jamey Driscoll (Jamis-Sutter Home). He's the rider who was in the breakaway the first two stages and held the most courageous jersey.

Alastair Loutit (Jelly Belly) is also out on course.

The day started out calm and sunny, but as usual for Solvang the wind is picking up as the day goes along. It's pretty gusty at the moment.

Most of the riders will start at one minute intervals; however, the last 10 racers will get two minutes in between them.

The first riders is now 12 minutes into the course - for the women, the first time check came 21 minutes in so it should be a while before we know the situation.

Next up after Brad White is Stefan Denifl, the Leopard Trek rider who nearly got run over by his team car yesterday. Denifl is down the start ramp and heading out. Next you is Mike Friedman (KBS).

Karl 'Ten Menzies' is up on deck. Menzies is off, and now it's another big sprinter-type, Aldo Ino Ilesic, the Slovak from Team Type 1.

Kevin Lacombe (Team Spidertech Powered By C10) and
Jan Barta (Team NetApp) are underway. Barta was the most courageous rider on the stage to Modesto.

Shawn Milne (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) is underway.

Andy Jacques-Maynes who is without his brother. Ben crashed out of the race yesterday - broke his left collarbone.  Andy told us before the stage that he had an easy day yesterday, and he's looking forward to today.  His brother Ben has previously finished 10th on this stage.

We've got another one of a pair of brothers out on course. Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad) is racing here with his twin Peter.  Martin told us before the stage that he's not looking for a result and that he's feeling tired today from yesterday.

On deck after Velits is Mike Creed, our Cyclingnews blogger from KBS.

Leopold König, the Czech from Team NetApp is next on deck.

The women's award ceremony is underway presently.  They competed for $10,000 earlier today.  Kristin Armstrong proved herself the fastest.  Check out our coverage.

Roman Kilun (Kenda/5h Energy) is underway, as is Robert Förster (United Healthcare).

Will Routley is on course.

Lars Boom and Svein Tuft, two riders who we think will knock out some fast times, will soon be on course.  Tuft told us before today's race, "I've not been feeling that great, but you never know..." 

Jamey Driscoll is our first finisher of the day.  He's clocked a 34:53.29 and by virtue of being first, he's our fastest time of the day.

Boom and Tuft are on course, as is Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervelo)

We just spoke with Alex Hagman (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) after he finished. He said that that there was a tailwind on the way out and that on the way back there is a big headwind. "The wind was picking up - more on the way back then when I was warming up. I did an 80% ride to make the time cut. There were fans all over the course, and they all had rosters. So they were calling my name and I was thinking 'wow, I have a lot of fans!' but really I think it was just because of the rosters."

Will Dickinson is still the fastest time, a good minute ahead of Jason McCartney. We've had 10 finishers so far and Dickinson is still fastest at the split too. We've had 20 riders through the time check thus far.

Luca Damiani (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) comes across the line. Damiani, who had visa issues earlier this year, and his Kenda team put out a t-shirt campaign to "Free Luca" - to raise money to pay lawyers to work out his immigration problems. He clocks a 34:48. 

Martin Gilbert comes in with a 35:18

Jeremy Powers was caught by a flying Brad White on the line, causing some confusion here, but White is now second overall at the finish.

Friedman didn't listen to his DS clearly. He put in a great time for the fourth fastest time as of now with a 34:01.Maybe he just wanted to make sure he beat women's winner Kristin Armstrong!

Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek) came through for slowest finishing time yet. But when you're nearly run over by your team car maybe you're not so motivated in a time trial. His time is 36:07.

Here comes Aldo Ino Ilesic (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis) with 34:21, He's the sixth fastest as of now.

Jan Barta (Team NetApp) finishes with the second fastest time in 33:05, but he's immediately bumped from that spot by Shawn Milne (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder), with a 32:54.

There are a lot of sets of brothers in the Amgen Tour of California peloton this year.  We've got the Jacques-Maynes, the Borrajos, the Haedos and the Velits brothers.

Before Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) got underway today, he told us he'd been working hard for his team's sprinters, such as Peter Sagan, who won yesterday's stage. "I'm not looking for a stage results today.  There will be a lot more work tomorrow and the next day."

Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad) comes in with a 33:46.

Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth) also puts in a good ride with a time of 33:43.

Lars Boom (Rabobank Cycling Team) sets the new fastest split time with a 20:07.

"This was my first time trial of the year and it hurt really bad," Mike Creed told Cyclingnews after crossing the line. "The goal was not to get time cut, but it's hard to gauge how fast or slow you're going. With the field that is so strong like this, you pretty much have to go all out."

Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) is also quicker than Dickinson at the split.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) told Cyclingnews before the start. "I'm stoked to race!  My legs are tired, but lots of guys are tired.  We'll see.  The course is good for me, and the short hills are perfect."

Roman Kilun came in with the 10th fastest time in 34:17.

Timon Seubert (NetApp) rolled in for the fourth fastest time, in 33:19. Seubert caught sprinter JJ Haedo along the way. Haedo is in with a 34:36.

Markel Irizar (RadioShack) is in with fifth fastest time, but we have a new fastest time by Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly), who blazed in with a 32:23!

1km to go for Lars Boom who had the fastest intermediate split so far.

Oh dear, Boom has faded over the second half and comes in with a 32:32 - nine seconds slower than Van Ulden.

Alexander Gottfried (Team NetApp) gets his bike weight double checked, but it comes out ok - as heavy enough - per the UCI limit.

Oh dear, Boom has faded over the second half and comes in with a 32:32 - nine seconds slower than Van Ulden.

It's not a great time for Svein Tuft, 33 minutes there abouts, and good for the top 10 so far.

It's time for Oscar Freire to get on course. Not exactly his day, but you'll see him go reasonably fast.

Van Summeren just caught his minute man Jonas Jorgensen (Saxo Bank) at the line, and then Ian Stannard blew through with a 32:07 for a new fastest time! The Team Sky rider has now topped the rankings by 16 seconds, but we expect race leader Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer to go two minutes faster.

Ben King (Team RadioShack) told us before the start, "I spent lots of time on the front yesterday. My legs are good, but I get to rest today. Tomorrow's the big day." He's referring to stage 7, which will finish atop Mt. Baldy.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) has finally gotten to don his stars and stripes kit for the Tour of California. The national champion is out there looking smooth.

Laszlo Bodrogi, formerly a Hungarian but not a naturalised French citizen, is on course for TT1.

Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team) has just gone on course. Before his start, he told us, "I didn't feel that good this morning. Yesterday was a heavy day - long and hot. I'm in good spirits though and was in the break yesterday. Today, I'm going to go hard, but there are lot of unknowns today."

Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) finishes in 34:11.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) is on the second half of the course now.  He'll be enjoying that new pavement, especially on the tight turns.

Former mountain biker Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) rolls out of the start house.

Jens Voigt (Leopard Trek) did not start today. The popular ride broke his scaphoid bone in a crash two days ago. He raced yesterday, but x-rays and a visit to the hospital confirmed the damage so he's not out there today. We're sure his fans will miss cheering him on.

One of the top American time trialers, Tom Zirbel (Jamis - Sutter Home) is under way.  Meanwhile, Phinney just rolled past the 5km to go mark.

Martin Mortensen (Leopard Trek) finishes up with third fastest time, but so far, no one's been able to top Ian Stannard (Sky), who's currently in the hot seat with a 33:07

Jason Donald (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth) gets the five-second count down and rolls out.

Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank Cycling Team) finished up with a 33:20.

Mathew Hayman, the Sky lead-out man is in with the eighth fastest time so far, 33:06.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) rolls up on his second rider of the day.  Catching two riders is impressive! 

Daniel Oss is in with the fifth fastest time in 32:37.  Yes, you heard us correctly.  Oss is a sprinter!

One kilometer to go for Phinney, who had the fourth fastest split.

The 21-year-old Taylor Phinney charges into the line with the second fastest time: 32:12.  Stannard keeps his spot in the hot seat - at least for now.

Lucas Euser (Spidertech C10) is in the start house.

Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team) is up next. He was in yesterday's break and said before the start. "My legs are feeling a little bit of a sting."

Tom Zirbel (Jamis - Sutter Home) is dealing with some sort of mechanical problem. It's something to do with his bars or shifters we think. He pulls off to the side of the road and waits for his team car. Where is it?

Ah, it seems as if his saddle dropped a bunch.  Mechanics move it back up and he is losing a ton of time.  Now he's back underway.  What a bummer for him!

Ben Swift, the first yellow jersey wearer of this year's Tour of California, is in across the line - 30th place for him.

We spotted Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad) before the start wearing a cooling ice jacket.  The sun is hot.  Pate rolls out of the start house and is underway.  Pate is in 34th in the GC, so we have 33 more riders to get underway today.

Today's time cut is 25 percent, which if all predictions come true, will be 7:30 or so. Levi Leipheimer can do 30 minutes or so on this course. So these guys touching 37:20 like Alejandro Borrajo, who just came in, are pushing their luck.

Some of the riders told us before the start that they think that just like last year there may not be a lot of official finishers.  Mt. Baldy could cause some serious damage tomorrow, and we may lose a few riders today, too.

Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Cycling) just found out that his bike is too long. Whoops!. His bars are out in front of the limit. Bcak to the team bus for him to get sorted. It'll be interesting to see how his legs are today after yesterday's effort in the break.

Our two fastest splits of the days are now Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling) in19:51 and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team) in19:53.

Former mountain biker Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) takes care of them and clocks the fastest split with a 19:46.

Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling) sets a new best time of 31:34. It's an impressive ride from Vennell.

KOM contender Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth) finishes in 34:10.

Rob Britton (Bissell Cycling) rolls out.

David Zabriskie (Team Garmin-Cervelo) gets underway. We asked him what he thought before the race, but he just made a funny face at us, shrugged and gave no comment. Maybe he's decided to let his legs do the talking?

Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis) slotted in second fastest as he crossed the line with a 32:06.

Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) is underway. He told us before his start, speaking of his teammate Rory Sutherland, "Rory's got a good shot, so I'm going to save it for that."

We have a new leader: Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team) with a speedy 0:31:24.  Fuglsang has one kilometer to go - let's see if he could hold his fast pace.

Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek) crossed the line in a 31:28.  It was a very strong ride and he slots into second on the stage for now.

George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) gets underway.  Before the start, he didn't make any promises and told us, "We'll see about today.  I'll know by about halfway through..."

Racers in the Giro d'Italia had a tough day today including a mountaintop finish on the Grossglockner and some wet and cold conditions.  Check out the coverage for stage 13.

The second half of the course is being made harder by the wind. It's pretty gusty and there is a crosswind coming back into town. We've seen a few riders with quick splits fade over the second part. So far today, the split is by no means proving an indicator of the final result.

Daniel Martin (Team Garmin-Cervelo) is underway. The intervals between riders are now 2:00.

Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) comes in. He has had some knee problems over the past two years and hasn't been able to perform as he has in the past.

Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth) is through in 34:38 - he put in a great sprint in Paso Robles yesterday but came up just shy of the stage podium - finishing fourth.  His teammates told us before the start that they'd be saving themselves today and working to put Candelario on the podium on the final stage on Sunday.

Tom Zirbel finally finishes up - he's in the high 34s. With his mechanical, it's not been a good day for him.

Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team), who is out on course, is back racing six weeks after a broken collarbone. He told us he is taking this race day by day.

Yesterday's stage winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) is underway. He passed by us before the start and shared just one word with us. "Good." So we're expecting good things from him today.

Jakob Fuglsang still holds fastest time at the split. We probably won't see that fall until David Zabriskie comes through.

Steve Morabito (BMC) is one of the riders out on course.

Young hopeful Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo) is another rider out on course.  He's got some time to make up after yesterday, when he got caught behind a split and lost 47 seconds in the best young rider competition.

Tejay Van Garderen is underway. Tejay couldn't put on the skinsuit they had for the best young rider because he's too skinny - it was too big on him.

We have a new best time wit Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) in 31:23. We didn't see Velits on the splits, but perhaps they missed him. He just pips Tjallingii by one second.

We have a new best time with Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) in 31:23. We didn't see Velits on the splits, but perhaps they missed him. He just pips Tjallingii by one second.

Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank Cycling Team) is underway. He told us that today is a day for time trialers. "I'm a climber. I'm waiting for tomorrow," he said.

Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank Cycling Team) is underway. He told us that today is a day for time trialers. "I'm a climber. I'm waiting for tomorrow," he said.

Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank Cycling Team) is underway. He told us that today is a day for time trialers. "I'm a climber. I'm waiting for tomorrow," he said.

Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) has a mechanical.  He went looking for help.  He's back now, but looking a bit stressed. He's at the start house now.

Ryder Hesjedal is getting ready to go on deck. He put in a strong attack heading toward the Sierra Grade during stage 4.

Benjamin Day (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) is through in 16th - solid ride for a 32:50

Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling) is still leading today's Continental rider classification in fourth so far.

We have a new fastest split for David Zabriskie: 19:24. He's gone 22 seconds faster than Jakob Fuglsang.

Matthew Busche (Team RadioShack) came in with a 34:18.

David Zabriskie is flying into toward the finish.  He's still looking good.

David Zabriskie sets a new fastest time. Not only the fastest for today, but ever ridden in Solvang.  He clocked a 30:36.  It's going to be tough for anyone to beat that.

Chris Horner (RadioShack) is getting a lot of cheers.

The time cut is now 7:39. So Borrajo, our current lantern rouge, is safe!

Luis Amaran of Jamis Sutter-Home is through with 32:40. That will move him up in the GC. That's a good ride.   He told us before the start that he was aiming for a top 15 overall in the GC and maybe a top 10 in today's stage.

Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team) slots into top 10 with a 32:09.

Race leader Chris Horner rolls down the start ramp.

Sebastaian Alexandar,Tom Zirbel's mechanic, told us. "Zirbel was off his bike for approximately 30 seconds. The team is extremely disappointed because he had a mechanical. He was in such good form and the time trial was his only focus this week. We're sad that his time trial ended with a mechanical. After the mechanical he just rode in to the finish. His race was over."

Chris Froome (Sky) finishes up in 32:14 for 11th currently.

Horner is out of the saddle and turning over a big gear.  His cadence is in marked contrast to some of the other riders, who were spinning more.

George Hincapie (BMC) coming through in 32:19 and the crowd gives him a big cheer.

With all the riders underway, we can focus on the finishers.

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) finishes in seventh for now with a 32:02. That pushes his teammate Taylor Phinney out of the top 10, but he's still best young rider on the day.

Patrick McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10) comes across the line nowhere near the top times. But that's not a surprise - we expected that he would be saving his legs for the KOM fight tomorrow.

McCarty's time put him in 87th place for now.

As a reminder, going into today, our GC was:
1 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack 16:45:35
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

Steve Morabito (BMC Racing Team) finishes in 32:17.

Dan Martin tanked it in at 34:26. Not a fast ride for the Irishman.

Andrew Talansky finishes up with a good time: 31:45.10

Peter Sagan finishes up in 31:50. Talansky gained back time on Sagan, five seconds, but it's not enough to take over the best young rider classification.

Here comes Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), who is tenth in the GC.  He gets a 31:15 which is the second best time.   Check out this recent news item on Van Garderen.

Clad in yellow, Chris Horner is putting it all on the line.  He nearly just ran off the road, he was going so hard near the edge.

Laurens Ten Dam is 1km to the finish - he's set the sixth fastest split. We'll see if he picks it up or fades. He wasn't going for the win, but clearly he wants to hold his high place on GC heading into tomorrow's stage.

Ten Dam is done in 32:09 for the 13th fastest time.  Eight more riders to go...

Levi Leipheimer, who has won here three times before, is out on course getting tons of cheers from fans, many of whom are running along side him... well at least for a little bit until he speeds away from them.

We have an unofficial split for Levi Leipheimer of 19:22 - two seconds quicker than the fastest man so far, David Zabriskie.

Of course if anyone knows how to ride this course, it's Levi Leipheimer. The splits were Levi vs. Zabriskie: 19:23.12 vs. 19:24.33.

We have no word on splits for Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, Rory Sutherland or Andy Schleck.

Linus Gerdemann is in with10th fastest time.

Ryder Hesjedal is coming into the final 1km.

Chris Horner is losing time.  We have 19:49 as an unofficial split time.

Ryder Hesjedal clocks a 32:17, the18th fastest time so far.

Chris Horner said yesterday that he expected to be within 20s of the winner. We'll see if he can live up to his prediction.

One kilometer to go for Andy Schleck and 5km to go for Tom Danielson.

It doesn't seem like Andy Schleck is having a great day.

If Chris Horner could indeed hold his losses to 20 seconds, he'd retain his place as race leader.

Andy Schleck finishes with a 32:50, which is only good enough for 32nd place.  He's had a bad day.

Rory Sutherland comes in with a 31:34 - not bad.

Christian Vande Velde had the ninth fastest split.

Levi Leipheimer has 4km to go.

Leipheimer looks good.  He's still pedalling very smoothly.

Rory Sutherland is hoping to stay on the final overall podium, but knew he'd lose some time to Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer today. It's just a question of how Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson do...

Christian Vande Velde finishes with 31:36

Rory Sutherland was one second behind Vande Velde on the GC, so he moves up a spot. Sutherland was seven seconds behind Danielson.

We had no split for Tom Danielson.  He's outside 31:30 and not in sight yet.

Tom Danielson finishes with a 31:48. Rory Sutherland moves up into third overall so far!

Here comes Levi Leipheimer

He's outside of Dave Zabriskie's time.

Leipheimer finishes with a 30:49.8.  That's good enough for second after David Zabriskie.

One more rider to go... Chris Horner.  We'll see if he can hang onto the yellow jersey.

Horner has to finish by 32:04 to retain his lead. 

Chris Horner finishes with a 31:26.  That's good enough for sixth place and he gets to keep the yellow jersey for another day.

Leipheimer will stay in second on the stage and GC and Rory Sutherland should move into third in the TC.

Chris Horner is sitting down, breathing hard and starting to recover from a tough ride.

That wraps up our live coverage for today.  Your live coverage today was brought to you by Kirsten Frattini, Jen See, Laura Weislo and Sue George.

Join us here on Cyclingnews for stage 7 live tomorrow. The 75.8 mile stage will run from Claremont to Mt. Baldy and it will start at 11:45 am PDT.

Brief Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1David Zabriskie (Team Garmin-Cervelo)0:30:36
2Levi Leipheimer (Team RadioShack)0:00:14
3Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad)0:00:40
4Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad)0:00:47
5Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank Cycling Team)0:00:48
6Christopher Horner (Team RadioShack)0:00:50
7Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek)0:00:52
8Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Cycling)0:00:58
9Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Christian Vande Velde (Team Garmin-Cervelo)0:01:00

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