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Tour of California 2016: Stage 5


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California, a 210km trek from Lodi to Lake Tahoe.

Analysing the GC contenders  |  Start list  |  Stage 5 maps and profile

Hello and welcome back to Cyclingnews continued live coverage of the Tour of California. We're in Lodi for the start of the men's stage 5, and will also be giving some updates from the first Women's WorldTour stage.

The men are starting early again, as their race is 212km long, actually - they are off on their neutral laps in Lodi.

The women's stage circles Lake Tahoe, and is 117km long. They'll push off for a neutral lap at 10:50 am local time.

The men will be looking forward to a strong SSW wind today, pushing them all the way up into the mountains. The cross-tailwind should help ease the pain of the uphill profile for the day.

GC standings after stage 5

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 18:06:17
2 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:22
3 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:37
4 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:40
5 Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman 0:00:43
6 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:49
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:01
8 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
9 Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling 0:01:12
10 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:15

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death yesterday of one of the motorcycle drivers who are on the race this week. We expect to have more information later today on the tragedy.

The riders are enjoying another beautiful California day - it's 70, sunny, and not windy...yet. It's expected to get quite breezy as they head up into the Sierra Nevada mountains. They're passing through some massive vineyards - of course, because cycling and wine country go hand in hand.

Cannondale are on the front keeping the pace high. Though they led the race for a day with Ben King, their GC hopes have taken a beating over the past two stages. It's another chance today to shake things up before the time trial, but race leader Alaphilippe is looking strong this week.

Yesterday Mark Cavendish went in the breakaway for over 100km, and got both the blue jersey for most courageous and Cyclingnews' Rider of the Day award.

202km remaining from 213km

There have been tons of surges but so far the pace is too high for any breakaway to stick. It's flat for the first 40km so we expect them to cover that distance pretty quickly.

Cavendish must have been inspired by that Rider of the Day award as he's gone on the attack again! He's off the front with green jersey and stage 4 winner Peter Sagan and a few other riders.

196km remaining from 213km

Cavendish's teammate Tyler Farrar spoke to Cyclingnews this morning about those attacks:

"He's trying his hand at a new aspect of cycling I guess," Farrar said of Cavendish.

"He's already won a classic in Milan San Remo and he's been up in the mix in some of the Belgian Classics, so you never know, but I think he's got plenty of sprints on his plate in the upcoming races."

Unfortunately, that breakaway was quickly nullfied by the peloton. Back together.

193km remaining from 213km

The first 20k have gone by in a flash, and still no breakaway. It's similar to yesterday's stage where it took 60k.

The first sprint is at kilometer 66, will Alaphilippe try to go for time bonuses again?

The peloton is mixed on whether or not today's stage will be decisive for the overall classification.

Farrar said: "It's not going to be fun, that's for sure. It's a nasty stage. I don't think it will be decisive for the GC guys, but it's just going to wear on everyone all day."

190km remaining from 213km

We have a split in the peloton - a group of about 18 riders has 40 seconds. That's fairly big for a breakaway - normally we see a reduction in the numbers before a move like this sticks.

However, the winds are coming from the riders' right side, and the cross-tailwind is a good way to split up the peloton with echelons.

We're seeing echelons forming at the moment. When they turn into the tailwind it will make for a difficult chase to close any splits.

The group ahead is:

Adam Blythe (Tinkoff)
Maxime Bouet (Etixx - Quick-Step)
Nikolas Maes (Etixx - Quick-Step)
Xabier Zandio (Team Sky)
Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)
Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha)
Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing)
Mark Christian (TEAM WIGGINS)
Owain Doull (TEAM WIGGINS)
Toms Skujins (Cannondale)
Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie)
Caleb Fairly (Giant-Alpecin)
Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo)
Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthcare)
Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman)
Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)
Adam De Vos (Rally Cycling)

184km remaining from 213km

The 18 riders up front have some strong men in their midst: Nikolas Maes and Maxime Bouet will be keeping the move in check for their teammate, race leader Alaphilippe. But Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha) is a fast sprinter. Wyss has a huge engine. Skujins won a stage and led this race last year, so expect to see him and former teammate Logan Owen (Axeon) lighting it up later on.

Bouet is the highest placed rider on GC at 4:15

181km remaining from 213km

4:19 on GC for Bouet, correction. The gap to the peloton is 4:15, so he's almost virtual leader on the road.

Jones and Wyss are next best on GC, over 7 minutes down on Alaphilippe.

Nobody in the peloton is going to panic. Cannondale, Trek, Etixx, Tinkoff, Sky, Katusha, BMC, Jumbo and Dimension Data are all represented. In fact, only Novo Nordisk and Holowesko have missed the move, and they have little incentive to chase. This could be interesting as the gap goes over 5 minutes.

Trek-Segafredo have been forced to take charge of the peloton as Etixx-Quickstep are happy to let the race leadership change hands.

Up in Lake Tahoe, the women are getting warmed up for their stage and are nervously eyeing the flags blowing in the 25mph winds. It's going to be a tough one for both fields today.

Not to be too girly, but in order to separate the information for the Women's WorldTour race from the men, I'll put the pink jersey icon in each women's entry - just for better visual reference.

The WorldTour status has attracted some of the best riders in the world, including Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5), who our reporter Ted Burns spoke to this morning:

"It's quite windy out there, it beautiful scenery and I for me it's a bit of a different peloton. I don't know the American teams and I'm sure I'm going to know a bit more about all riders after this stage today. I'm sure it's going to be some different racing than what we are used to at home."

(Not to be too girly, but in order to separate the information for the Women's WorldTour race from the men, I'll put the pink jersey icon in each women's entry - just for better visual reference. )

The WorldTour status has attracted some of the best riders in the world, including Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5), who our reporter Ted Burns spoke to this morning:

"It's quite windy out there, it beautiful scenery and I for me it's a bit of a different peloton. I don't know the American teams and I'm sure I'm going to know a bit more about all riders after this stage today. I'm sure it's going to be some different racing than what we are used to at home."

171km remaining from 213km

Sorry for that duplicate entry! Technology failure.

The men are once again surpassing the quickest schedule, covering 42km in less than an hour thanks to a strong tailwind.

It's going to be hard for the peloton and breakaway to go any faster than they are now - which is 31mph. Zoom! The gap is hovering at or below six minutes now.

There is nothing stopping the tailwind from helping the men sail up the road toward the first sprint at Sutter Hill, which comes 66km into the stage. It's wide open with only a few sturdy oak trees dotted on the rolling hills.

It seems LottoNl-Jumbo and Trek are taking responsibility for keeping the breakaway in check. Groenewegen and Stuyven will take a back seat in the lead group, as they seek to protect their leaders George Bennett and Peter Stetina's position on GC.

The women have set off for their 4k neutral start.

Women lining up a few minutes before the start #amgentoc #UCIWWT

@podiuminsight Thu, 19th May 2016 17:50:46

We have a statement from AEG on the fatality in the race yesterday:

"Today the sport of cycling, NBC and TV Motos International and Amgen Tour of California lost a friend when television moto pilot Rob Llewelyn suffered a fatal heart attack while standing on the side of the road waiting for cyclists to approach his position. Rob was a 20-year veteran driver who was passionate about the sport. A moment of silence was observed at the start of both the men's and women's races in memorium."

Cyclingnews would like to send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Rob Llewelyn.

Lindsay Bayer (Hagens Berman-Supermint) is the first attacker in the women's race. Brave soul, she hit out into the raging headwind.

Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) has abandoned the race. That's a huge blow for the Australian, who won the Tour of the Gila and was riding very strong here. He crashed yesterday before the second to last climb and finished 10 minutes off the back.

154km remaining from 213km

George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo) has been racing aggressively this week. Find out what the Kiwi had to say about the race in our interview.

His team is helping to bring the gap down to a much more reasonable 4:40.

153km remaining from 213km

The good times are over for the leaders - they've hit the first of the long, long, ascent to Tahoe. Aside from a few small dips, it's pretty much uphill to the finish from here. 5k to the sprint for the leaders.

In the women's race, Bayer's attack was reeled back in after 10km of racing, but four riders have counter-attacked.

The women are all together 15km into the race, and facing the first KOM of the day just ahead.

We spoke to Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) about the stage:

"I think it's going to be a tough stage out there particularly with this wind. I think obviously it will come down to the final climb to select the final little group. It's going to to be a hard day out there no matter what with the altitude and rolling climbs. I expect some tough racing."

147km remaining from 213km

The breakway is rolling to the first sprint of the day, and that nice tailwind? It's vanished.

Sprint 1:

1. Maxime Bouet (Etixx - Quick-Step)
2. Nikolas Maes (Etixx - Quick-Step)
3. Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman)

So Bouet is padding his 'virtual' lead over his teammate Alaphilippe at the moment thanks to the three seconds of time bonuses in Sutter Hill.

They have a moment of fun downhill before they resume their gradual climb.

Women QOM 1:

1. Sara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling
2. Mara Abbott (USA) Wiggle High5
3. Tayler Wiles (USA) USA National Team

The climb spat a bunch of women out the back, leaving about 50 riders in the front group.

Dame Sarah Storey has attacked following the climb, 21km in to the stage.

141km remaining from 213km

The men's breakaway is starting to fade a little, and are 4:15 in front of the peloton. They're helped by a twisty little descent on a narrow road.

In case you missed yesterday's Tour of California stage, we have video highlights of a day that had a slow burn, but a big explosion of action in the finale.

The gap to the breakaway is 4:15 as the leaders traverse a deceptively undulating part of the course with few flat sections.

#amgentoc #UCIWWT A lot of splits and big groups. Saràh story lone break 1:05 gap. 18 miles in.

@CylanceCycling Thu, 19th May 2016 18:46:06

The leaders have passed out of the grassy foothills and into the pine forests that signal the start of the Eldorado National Forest. Peppered in with the pines are some scrub oaks.

31k into the women's race, and Dame Sarah Storey has a full two minutes' lead on a diminished peloton.

Check that, 2:45 with 200m to the sprint in Tahoma at 36.5km into the women's race for Storey.

On the men's side, they are still on the fastest schedule, clocking 26mph over the first two hours of racing. The gap has come down some to 3:40.

It's pretty surprising that a group this large is actually staying together. Normally the lack of cooperation from a few riders leads to attacks that splits the group.

Sprint 2: 

1. Sarah Storey (GBr) Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa
2. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
3. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team

The breakaway is struggling up a 10 percent grade, and the gap has come down to 3:15.

127km remaining from 213km

The breakaway's gap is back out to 3:35, and passing through a rural area that sports some very big homes.

Neilson Powless has a block of fans with signs along the road. He's from Roseville, which is sort of close by.

Gap holding steady for @DameSarahStorey at 1'50, we're in Tahoe Pines heading to the feed zone after 43km raced #Amgentoc

@Voxwomen Thu, 19th May 2016 19:08:46

One of the big names in the race is Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). He's recovered from the broken collarbone that ruined his Tour of Flanders, and showed he's back on track with second place on yesterday's stage. More on the story here.

Dame Sarah Storey is on a serious tear here- she's passed Tahoe City 50k into the stage and has 3:15 on the bunch. That's an amazing feat for the multi-time Paralympic champion.

Crazy crosswinds at the feed zone according to @DNA_K4 soigneur Sabrina #Amgentoc

@Voxwomen Thu, 19th May 2016 19:02:17

The leaders of the men's race are passing by the Mokelumne Wilderness - it's a beautiful tract that has been protected for 50 years. It's got volcanic peaks and deep granite canyons, and is home to the rare phantom orchid. It's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.

The gap to Storey is up to 3:30, and now Canyon-SRAM has come to the front of the peloton to chase.

Storey's solo gap is out to 4:05 after 60km - the peloton seems to be napping. Will the Briton catch them out? 

Women's Tour of California: Altitude and jetlag plagues European riders:

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 19th May 2016 19:30:36

109km remaining from 213km

The breakaway has made the turn onto highway 88 and are picking up lunch in the feed zone. They're still a good 10 minutes ahead of the quickest schedule - thanks to that early start this morning.

Storey just keeps on piling onto her advantage - passing Incline Village at the very northern point of the route, she has 4:45 on the jetlagged peloton.

What do you call a chicken staring at a lettuce...?Chicken sees a salad!

That bad joke courtesy of Adam Blythe, who is enjoying his time in the breakaway.

Blythe is riding his first season for the Russian Tinkoff team having moved over from Orica Greenedge during the winter. The 26-year-old turned pro with Omega Pharma Lotto in 2011 and quickly established himself as an integral part of Philippe Gilbert’s Classics team. He followed the Belgium to BMC but the move failed to pay off for the rider from Sheffield. He’s now formed part of Sagan’s Classics team.

Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman) is not only a multi-time national cyclo-cross champion, he's shown his talents on the road and this year won the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He's also engaged to multiple world champion (2x junior and team pursuit) Chloe Dygert. 

Xabier Zandio is 39 years of age and the oldest rider in the race - he's two weeks older than Haimar Zubeldia.

From Pamplona, where Miguel Indurain heralded from, and there was a famous Tour de France stage in 1996, Zandio is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton. He’s also one of the most loyal. He rose through the junior ranks at Banesto –starting in 1996- and stayed with them until 2010, when he moved to Team Sky.

Storey's solo romp continues as she has 4:45 on the bunch - but it's about to get more difficult as she battles a stiff crosswind and then cross head-wind.

101km remaining from 213km

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) re-signed for his American team recently. He enjoyed somewhat of a break through spring campaign, winning Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

The 24-year-old has been tipped for the top for some time, having come through the U23 ranks. He of course won a fine stage in the Vuelta a Espana last year but has had success in North America too, with a stage in in the Tour de Beauce back in 2013. His Classics pedigree is well proven though, having finished second in the U23 Paris-Roubaix in 2011. He had won the junior version of the race in 2010. Third that day? A rider by the name of Lawson Craddock.

Caleb Fairly is in his second year with Giant-Alpecin, but it won't be a full year - he announced earlier this month that Tour of California will be his final race with the team.

Fairly, 29, has been a loyal domestique for most of his career, but he had one beautiful day where he got the win in the Tour of Battenkill back in 2010. Riding for Garmin at the time, Fairly got away with Floyd Landis, who was just coming back from his doping ban, and then rode away from Landis to win. The field was almost two and a half minutes behind.

29km to go for Sarah Storey. She went on a similar attack last year, but her gap never got as big as the one she has here. Can she hold on to take victory?

96km remaining from 213km

The men have passed the halfway point and are crawling along, their gap slowwwwwwwly shrinking to 2:55 as they make their way up toward the Bert Lund Memorial Overlook.

It’s somewhat of a surprise to see Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha) in the break. The 28-year-old Italian was signed to Katusha, from Astana, in order to lead out Kristoff in the sprints. He’s done a fine job so far and has become of the most important support riders for the Norwegian since 2015. He came through the ranks in the Italian U23 scene and won national track titles. He won two stages in the Tour of Poland but didn’t quite make it as a sprinter in his own right.

Toms Skujins is new to Cannondale this year, having made his name with the Hincapie team last year when he won a stage in Tour of California and held the lead for three days.

The scrappy Latvian also won the Tour de Beauce in 2014, was second in 2015 and was top rider in the UCI Americas Tour for the season.

Storey is still holding 4:20 as she rounds the lake, but there's a section with strong headwinds that could make her life very difficult. It would be an amazing feat if she could hold onto such a large lead.

Owain Doull and Mark Christian are setting the pace as the breakaway climbs to 6000ft.

Doull just signed a two year contract with Team Sky. He plans to switch from a track focus - riding team pursuit for Great Britain in Rio - to the road next year.

Storey has reached 25k to go and still hanging on. Last year, her attack ended on Spooner Summit, which comes around 23k to go - if she can last that long she can stand a good chance of winning this stage.

Doull rode well on the road in 2014 when he picked up a few results in Europe, including fourth in the Tour of Flanders. He’s here with Wiggins – the team and the rider – as part of his preparation for the Rio Olympic Games. Wiggins has been a real mentor for Doull. At the finish of the 2015 worlds U23 time trial, CN spoke to Doull. He had notes written on his hands and arms, a tip regarding concentration that Wiggins had passed onto him.

20km to go

Storey has 3:15 - this is looking very good for the six-time Paralympic cycling champion. She's a paralympian because she has a non-functioning left hand because of a birth defect, but fits her bike with a special harness to hold onto the bars on that side. It certainly doesn't slow her down, and in fact it's better to be solo so she doesn't have to worry about quick maneuvers.

91km remaining from 213km

Back in the men's race, the long, slow pursuit continues, the BMC-Lotto-Jumbo-Trek led peloton has them down to 2:55. The climb has hit their average speed quite a bit - down to 21mph.

Bouet is no longer our virtual race leader. The 29-year-old was signed to Etixx in order to beef up their GC options in stage races when they were lacking a few climbers. He’s a solid work horse and finished 20th in the 2012 Vuelta a Espana but hasn’t been a prolific winner. In last year’s Giro he was supposed to ride for then leader Rigoberto Uran but the Colombian suffered with illness. This season Bouet has raced more aggressively and finished a creditable 9th in the Tour du Haut-Var in France.

Nikolas Maes is the second Etixx QuickStep rider in the break. He heralds from Kortrijk in Belgium. It’s a small but pretty city and one where a number of cycling teams base themselves during the spring classics. Tip: come out of the main train station and cross the road and you’ll see the Park Hotel. That’s where Tinkoff and Katusha tend to stay for several weeks. It’s where Riis used to base his squads too. Just on the other side of town BMC and Sky are situated. A few doors down from the Team Sky hotel is one of the best restaurants in Belgium - best Flemish stew you’ll ever have.

-Thanks to Daniel Benson for that tidbit, and several other quick bio's of our breakaway riders.

Just 15 km to go for Storey and she still has 2:25- have the peloton left this too late?

Oh dear, the gap is coming down very rapidly now. Just 2:00 - that climb to the finish line is going to hurt Storey.

It's Boels-Dolmans setting the devastating tempo at the front - they're responsible for whittling down Storey's gap.

84km remaining from 213km

The men's breakaway has lost another five seconds since our last update, down to 2:50 now.

Oh dear oh dear, Storey's lead has been nearly obliterated by Boels Dolmans - down to just 1:15 with 10k to go!

The men's breakaway has reached the snow line - there's some white stuff along the road and the temps are quite cool. But they're safe, because the sun is out, however, tomorrow snow is predicted so the race is leaving Tahoe just in the nick of time.

It's amazing how quickly the gap is falling - 40 seconds now and all of the cars are being pushed ahead out of the gap.

25 seconds now for Sarah Storey - it's not looking good as she has more than 5k to go. But she has been awarded the most courageous jersey and will take the QOM jersey just as she did last year.

The peloton can see our solo attacker and she will be caught. Correction - she didn't get the QOM, but will be in blue tomorrow.

It's all together - Storey was away for 90km and it proved about 6km too long.

Rally Cycling is now leading the pack. They've got Sara Poidevin, a great young climber, and Jasmin Glaesser on the team. Glaesser was third in the Tour of the Gila recently.

Of course we can't discount Marianne Vos, Megan Guarnier, Mara Abbott, Emma Johansson or last year's winner Katie Hall for this finish.

78km remaining from 213km

Logan Owen (Axeon) had a puncture but made his way quickly back to the breakaway. 2:40 now for the leaders.

3km to go for the women, but 2k of that is uphill. It's going to be a big battle for the stage win!

2k to go for the women - there was a crash in the peloton but the riders are back up.

Last kilometer! 

Boels Dolmans are leading out the uphill sprint.

Megan Guarnier attacks!

Megan Guarnier finishes off Boels Dolman's fine work with the first win of the WorldTour race! 

Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5) was second, with Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-RideBiker) in third.

Evelyn Stevens was fourth.

67km remaining from 213km

Phew, that was an intense finish for the women, we expect some of the same for the men - but that's a distant 68k to go.

The breakaway is passing along some flatter roads now, with a lovely view of Silver Lake.

63km remaining from 213km

Jempy Drucker (BMC) is setting a steady tempo on the front of the peloton, keepting the gap hovering at 3:15. Having Wyss in the breakaway isn't an excuse not to work - if the leaders continue on their present course, Bouet becomes a dangerous force in the GC at a minute from Alaphilippe but only 20 seconds from Bookwalter. He'd also surpass Rohan Dennis. So that's why Drucker is working.

5k to go before the Kirkwood KOM.

Jesse Anthony is coming back to the peloton with a jersey full of bottles. Luckily he's back on a small descent, so it's easier, especially with the added weight.

Fairly takes his pull in the breakway, and then pulls off to let Janse Van Rensburg take over. The South African has another rider of the same surname on Dimension Data, but they aren't actually related. Jacques is in the breakaway, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg is at the Tour of Norway.

Logan Owen is spinning a small gear as he leads the breakaway up a climb. De Vos is looking much more labored as he grinds an Ullrich-like gear.

Logan Owen is spinning a small gear as he leads the breakaway up a climb. De Vos is looking much more labored as he grinds an Ullrich-like gear.

One rider who's back in the peloton waiting to do his job is American Alexey Vermeulen, who races for LottoNl-Jumbo. It was an unusual bit of good luck for him to sign with the WorldTour team - you can find out more about him in this interview.

Women's press conference will be held jointly win the men. #amgentoc #UCIWWT

@podiuminsight Thu, 19th May 2016 21:17:34

We appreciate the organisation making accommodations for the press to cover the women at the same time as the men - but I remember one time when Ina Teutenberg gave them a very hard time, saying the men would never be forced to wait around for two hours for the women!

De Vos might have been pedaling squares, but it worked, and he's gone after the KOM points and kept going. Skujins was second over the top.

The peloton is enjoying a quick descent as they pass the last remnants of snowpack - courtesy of some nice El Niño precipitation this winter. It's nice to see snowpack after the drought last year made for bare mountains.

54km remaining from 213km

KOM 1: 

1. Adam De Vos (Rally Cycling)
2. Toms Skujins (Cannondale)
3. Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Maxime Bouet (Etixx - Quick-Step)

Skujins and De Vos have a 20 second lead on the rest of the breakaway.

Danilo Wyss is the only rider from BMC Racing in the break, and they're working here for Brent Bookwalter. Wyss, like Bookwalter, has been with BMC for the vast majority of his career. The Swiss rider was a trainee at Saunier Duval in 2007 and finished fifth in the U23 worlds later that year. He’s a solid team rider and was part of the TTT stage wining team at BMC during last year’s Tour de France. He also won the Swiss national road title earlier that year and has picked up a few decent results already this season.

51km remaining from 213km

We're seeing a more concerted chase from the peloton as LottoNl-Jumbo put another man on the front.

Up ahead, the breakaway is passing a lake that still has ice on it! Brrr.

50km remaining from 213km

3k to go for the next summit, Carson Pass - it's a category 2 climb. Neither one of these riders will threaten Evan Huffman's polka dot jersey.

Skujins and De Vos have extended their lead to 45 seconds on the ridge - meanwhile the peloton is 3:50 behind them and not doing much in the way of chasing.

48km remaining from 213km

1k to go to Carson Pass, and it seems Skujins and De Vos have made an agreement. Skujins is taking a strong pull and De Vos waiting to get the KOM points.

I'm not sure what's up with the swimming-related fan costumes. Yesterday it was a man in board shorts and bare feet with a surfboard on the KOM, today it's a pair of swimmers - in bikinis and swim caps.

The duo are in sight of the rest of the breakaway. That's not 50 seconds at all, Mr. Time Graphic!

De Vos gets the points over Skujins, then they're closely followed over the top by Jones, Zandio, Wyss, Stuyven and few others

It looks like De Vos, Skujins, Wyss, Stuyven, Jones, Zandio and the two Etixx riders are ahead of their respective team cars, then the rest of the breakaway is between them at the peloton - which is at 4:35 according to the time board. They just passed the KOM.

Correction, it's De Vos, Skujins, Wyss, Stuyven, Jones, Bouet, Zandio and Rathe. Maes is in the chasing group.

40km remaining from 213km

40k to go and the leaders are single file on a descent, the peloton bunched up minutes behind. There are some gaps in the peloton - they're in three groups.

38km remaining from 213km

Looks like the rest of the chasers have rejoined the front group, but it's still single file.

Zandio sees the chasers have come back and eases up.

It seems one of the WIGGINS riders has not made the bridge.

There are only 16 riders in the front group, so someone else didn't make it across. 

We don't see the bright yellow of Tinkoff, so it seems Blythe has gone back to the peloton.

34km remaining from 213km

BMC and Trek are putting the peloton in the gutter and are driving wedges into the gaps that formed in the crosswinds.

The breakaway is indeed all back together - both WIGGINS riders and Blythe are in there - apologies to those riders.

32km remaining from 213km

Skujins has been distanced from the breakaway, and we suspect Logan Owen might have gone backwards as well, but the cameras haven't been giving definitive pictures.

Whoops, correction. We didn't see the attack but Skujins is off the FRONT, not the back of the breakaway.

Taylor Phinney is taking up the chase from the peloton, which is reportedly three minutes behind Skujins, with the rest of the chase at 25 seconds.

29km remaining from 213km

Skujins crosses the sprint like, while the peloton sees the 1k to the sprint around the same time. 

26km remaining from 213km

Skujins has been joined now by De Vos and Zandio.

25km remaining from 213km

No sign of the chasing group, but we assume they're in there somewhere between the leading trio and the peloton.

23km remaining from 213km

Giant-Alpecin have moved up behind BMC, but it's still Phinney against both groups ahead. He's not closing down the gap very much if the graphics can be believed.

18km remaining from 213km

For a mountain stage, the road looks awfully flat, but it's deceptive. The leading trio are working hard to build 1:10 on their former companions. The chasing peloton still is showing at 3:05

16km remaining from 213km

The leaders are now in the more populated section of the course - they're heading through a little neighborhood in Meyers. Right, Left, right, right, and they're back on track for Tahoe.

The roads are quite a bit rougher for the breakaway - the effects of a snowy winter still apparent. Meanwhile, the Phinney-led breakaway is on the smooth highway, not putting too much care into the chase.

It seems the peloton has had a general regrouping - Angus Morton is at the back, probably sad that his brother had to abandon today.

Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) is swinging a bit at the back through the twists and turns. Tinkoff have put one rider up behind Phinney to help.

Just in case you were wondering, Sagan is in the peloton. Trek-Segafredo have put a few riders up front with Phinney. 

11km remaining from 213km

It's the breakaway's lucky day - the peloton have spread all the way across the road, riding tempo up a small climb.

Looks like Skujins might have a chance for a second Tour of California stage win, but he won't threaten the yellow jersey of Alaphilippe. He was 26:25 down. In fact, Zandio was 23 minutes down, so the peloton can stop for an espresso and still keep him in yellow.

10km remaining from 213km

10k to go and Axeon Hagens Berman has a man on the front closing down the gap a little.

While Skujins has a win in this race, Zandio has never thrown up his arms in victory in a UCI race, even if he's won two TTTs and the GC in the Vuelta Burgos.

8km remaining from 213km

Just 8km to go in the race, and the three leaders are working smoothly together. The chase has reportedly splintered, while the peloton closed in to 2:30 behind the leaders. But even with Giant-Alpecin chasing it's unthinkable they'll catch the trio up front.

Maes and Tulik have left the rest of their chasing group behind.

Wyss sensed the danger and bridged across, but he really just welded the chase back together.

Bouet is still in the chasing group, which has come back together. Attack from a Wiggins rider from this group.

5km remaining from 213km

It's Christian, getting into TT mode a day early. But he's got a big gap to close to the trio ahead.

4km remaining from 213km

4km to go and it's too little, too late for the Wiggins rider. The lead trio are at 4k to go and not even in sight of him.

Stuyven and Guarnieri have caught Christian and he has to push hard to stay on their wheel. He's not quite there.

2km remaining from 213km

Just 2k to go for the leaders, and there isn't enough road for the chasing trio to catch them.

Skujins, Zandio and De Vos continue to work together.

The altitude and two very long stages are starting to show on these riders. No attacks yet and almost to the 1km to go banner.

0km remaining from 213km

Zandio wiggles his elbow at De Vos, making the 22-year-old Canadian take his pull.

They don't even look like they know it's 500m to go! Wyss has left the others behind.

Skujins looks and Zandio tries to switch sides of the road to get a gap - no go.

No one wants to sprint first.

They're all out of the saddle, no sprints yet. 

The leaders are inside the final 300m and still no jump. Stuyven (not Wyss) can see them ahead.

The leaders have made the turn to the finish - De Vos goes first!

But Skujins gets on his wheel.

De Vos can't hold on and Skujins gets Cannondale's second win of the week!

Zandio comes in third, while Stuyven comes in 29 seconds later. That was perhaps the longest kilometer in the history of bike racing.

Alaphilippe's group comes in just 47 seconds down!

Sagan comes in near the back of the group, happy for this stage just to be over we think.

Once again the young riders are shining in this race - Skujins showed that he's earned his World Tour contract with that jump. De Vos had no answer.

Stage results:

1 Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:54:45
2 Adam de Vos (Can) Rally Cycling
3 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:08
4 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:28
5 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Team Katusha 0:00:43
6 Rob Squire (USA) Holowesko-Citadel
7 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
8 Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko-Citadel
9 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
10 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling

The peloton really left it late, but fortunately for Alaphilippe, none of the riders ahead were of threat.

Stay tuned for the top 10 on GC.

Stetina was in that group, so he keeps 2nd place overall.

The only rider who lost time out of the top 10 was Neilson Powless, who was pushed down to 6th by Laurens ten Dam.

General classification after stage 5
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 1/1/00 0:01
2 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:22
3 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:37
4 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:40
5 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:43
6 Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman 0:01:01
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:01
8 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
9 Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling 0:01:12
10 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:15

Thanks for reading! Join us tomorrow for the women's team time trial, followed by the men's individual time trial.

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