Tour of California: Van Garderen wins stage six time trial in yellow
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Tour of California: Van Garderen wins stage six time trial in yellow

by Kyle Moore at 7:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of California
 
Solidifies lead on Rogers as Cam Meyer moves up to third overall

Tour of CaliforniaTejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) left no doubt as to who is the strongest rider in the Amgen Tour of California, as he added to his overall lead by winning the stage six time trial in San Jose. Van Garderen blasted the tough 32km course in 48’52”, topping runner-up Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) by 22 seconds.

Van Garderen took the yellow jersey on stage five after a large group isolated and left behind previous overall leader Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman). The American added to his lead on currently second placed Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff), who did well to try and solidify a spot on the final podium after finishing fourth in the time trial. Rogers’ 1’05” deficit to Van Garderen in the TT means that he now sits 1’47” back in the general classification.

Budding specialist from Garmin-Sharp, Rohan Dennis, held the day’s best time for much of the late afternoon, and would eventually take third. Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) was sixth on the stage, boosting himself all the way up to third overall. Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing) was fifth on the stage, 1’08” behind Van Garderen.

"It was unbelievable. I just got to see my wife and kid today. It definitely gave me a little extra motivation out there," Van Garderen stated at the finish.

"There was really no place that you could hold back. It started straight away up a climb and then there was ripping headwind on the flat section so you really had to dig deep there. And then of course, the climb up to the finish was hard. There were a couple little downhill sections where you could kind of stop pedaling and catch your breath a little, but it was really on the gas the whole way. It's incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better day."

How the difficult San Jose time trial played out:

Riders faced a tough challenge in the 32km course, which featured a difficult three-kilometre climb to the finish that had many riders wondering if they should make a quick change to a road bike to complete the ascent. Some ultimately would change and some wouldn’t – Rogers did and Van Garderen didn’t – but racing bike strategy did not ultimately decide the winner.

A former podium finisher at the American time trial championships, Scott Zwizanski (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) set the early best mark at 52 minutes even, averaging 37 kilometres per hour to get there. Zwizanski sat temporarily on the leader board just ahead of James Oram (Bontrager), who was 51 seconds slower.

Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) started Zwizanski’s tumble down the standings by clocking a 51’31”, which was quickly beaten by Thomas De Gendt (Vancansoleil-DCM), who put up a 51’09”. Dennis had the broadcasters’ attention at the intermediate time check, taken just before the final climb, as the Garmin-Sharp rider went through with the best time there. Kristijan Koren (Cannondale) was the first rider under 51 minutes, beating De Gendt’s mark by 11 seconds, but then Dennis rolled through.

Dennis looked like he could be set for a big stage victory by putting up a 49’20”, a full minute and a half quicker than Koren. Dennis’ time stood up to Pinotti, who came through at 50 minutes dead.

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) put in a quality ride, and the Frenchman was only 31 seconds behind Dennis and his blazing time at the intermediate checkpoint. Before Chavanel finished, Bob Jungels (Radioshack-Leopard) put in the third best time at that point, with a 50’21”, and Chavanel sat in fourth, at 50’40”.

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) seemed to be cruising home, but was 15th best when he crossed the line. As the Slovak was finishing, news floated through that Westra was just one tick slower than Dennis at the intermediate check, and it was an anxious wait at the finish line to see if the stage one winner could top Dennis on the line. Westra’s team-mate Juan Antonio Flecha put in a solid effort, not long before Westra sprinted through the finish, in 49’15, five seconds clear of Dennis.

Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura) hung up a 50’35”, while behind, Acevedo was suffering from mechanical trouble, swapping his time trial bike for another TT machine, well before the climb had begun.

Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) and Chad Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished in times that would support their GC ambitions, as did Paco Mancebo (5-Hour Energy), who clocked a solid 51’25”.

Van Garderen’s lead assistant, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing), solidified his own high GC spot with a finish in 50’38”. Just after Frank crossed, Acevedo, at the base of the climb, changed again, this time to his road bike. Rogers also mounted his road bike to take on the climb.

As the top riders took on the hill, other outside GC contenders had mixed results. Meyer finished solidly in 50’20”, which would do his overall hopes a favour, while Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) would fall a bit, after clocking a 52’27”, good for 20th, with still a few riders yet to cross. Acevedo managed his bike changes well and posted a 51’33”, and Rogers just got under the 50-minute barrier.

Last man on course, Van Garderen stayed composed and controlled, stamping his authority on the overall standings by besting Westra by 22 seconds, and adding a minute to Rogers’ deficit.

The American was all smiles on the podium, cradling his new baby daughter.

Tour of California Stage 6: San Jose Time Trial (32km) Brief Results:

1, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) in 48’52”
2, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) at 22”
3, Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) at 28”
4, Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 1’05”
5, Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing) at 1’08”
6, Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) at 1’28”
7, Bob Jungels (Radioshack-Leopard) at 1’29”
8, Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura) at 1’43”
9, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) at 1’46”
10, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) at 1’48”

General Classification after Stage 6:

1, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) in 22h44’24”
2, Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 1’47”
3, Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) at 2’57”
4, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) at 3’21”
5, Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) at 3’31”
6, Matthew Busche (Radioshack-Leopard) at 3’33”
7, Francisco Mancebo (5-Hour Energy) at 4’26”
8, Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) at 4’52”
9, Chad Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 5’02”
10, Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) at 5’04”

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