Sagan Wins Another Stage in Amgen Tour of California

May 21, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Peter Sagan holds up five fingers, denoting five race wins in 2010, as he crosses the finish line first in Stage Six of the Amgen Tour of California. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Peter Sagan holds up five fingers, denoting five race wins in 2010, as he crosses the finish line first in Stage Six of the Amgen Tour of California. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
After a day replete with sharp attacks on long climbs, Stage Six in the Amgen Tour of California came down to a sprint and Liquigas rider Peter Sagan, who won Stage Five, repeated his feat, moving into thirds place in the General Classification.

Sagan grabbed a 10-second time bonus for his first-place finish, leaving him only nine seconds out of first. UnitedHealthcare’s Rory Sutherland got a 6-second bonus, which moved him past teammate Mark de Maar into fifth overall.

HTC-Columbia’s Michael Rodgers kept the yellow jersey, his 4-second bonus being the whole of his lead over Garmin-Transition’s David Zabriskie.

Levi Leipheimer finished fourth, and lies fourth in the General Classification, 14 seconds out.

Stage Seven is a 33-kilometer individual Time Trial around the street of Los Angeles. The course contains a few good hills, which might test a few of the pure TT specialists.

Leipheimer, Zabriskie, and Rodgers are all noted for their time-trialing ability. Which one of them has more left? Can any of them beat Peter Sagan, who seems to have endless reserves of power right now?

35 seconds separates the top ten riders in the field. The race is still wide open, with two stages left to go.

Stage Six

Stage Six was the first alpine stage of the 2010 Tour of California, and was certainly the hardest stage. With seven categorized climbs in a stage that was mostly uphill and finished at just under 7000 feet of elevation, the stage offered all the challenges a professional rider could want.

While the climbs weren’t as steep as the European mountain passes generally are, they made up for it in length, and a lot of good riders couldn’t keep up over the course of the stage.

Stage Six was a tale of breakaways and attacks. The first, and longest-lived, started about seven miles into the stage, before the first climb. An eight-rider group got away and stayed away for most of the stage. Riders dropped off the back on the later climbs, but five remained all the way to the final climb.

The final five were George Hincapie (BMC,) Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank,) Matt Wilson (Garmin Transitions,) Jason McCartney (Radio Shack,) and Thomas Rabou (Team Type 1.) 

The peloton split over the climbs, leaving about 25 riders, including the yellow jersey, to chase the breakaway. Radio Shack and HTC-Columbia led the first chase group. Tony Martin did huge pulls, setting the pace for nearly the entire second half of the stage.

25 miles out, witht the gap at about 2:40, attacks started in the peloton. Radio Shack riders Chris Horner and Janez Brajkovic attacked repeatedly trying to wear out the competition.

At about the same time, Jason McCartney attacked the break, followed by Hincapie and Matt Wilson.

HTC’s Tom Danielson attacked the peloton, followed by Horner. A seven-rider break formed briefly, then was caught. Up front the three leaders were caught by the other two.

15 miles out the peloton ran down Leipheimer, Wilson, and MCartney. Immediately Mark de Maar of UnitedHealthcare attacked and got away by 45 seconds.

Back in the peloton, Radio Shack’s Ryder Hesjedal and Cervélo’s Oscar Pujol took their shots at the peloton, only to get dragged back.

12 miles out, Matt Wilson, after having ridden the in the break all day, took off after de Maar. Two miles later the Garmin rider caught de Maar. It seemed these two might just be able to stay away.

Tony Martin wasn’t going to let that happen. He wanted to make sure that no one got enough in time bonuses to take the yellow jersey from team leader Michael Rodgers. Martin pushed the peloton at an heroic pace, seeing never to tire. Finally, with 1.5 km to go, the breakaway was run down and absorbed.

Coming into the final kilometerevryone was trying to jockey for position and waiting to see who would commit first.

Oscar Pujol made the first move, starting 800 meters from the line. No one marked him. Then, 400 meters out, Michael Rodgers made his move, accelerating strongly and catching up to Pujol, who was fading.

Seconds after Rodgers broke, Liquigas rider Peter Sagan pulled out of his slipstream and outpowered everyone to the line. This was Sagan’s second stage win in a row and his fifth of the season. Only 20 years of age, Sagan has a long, bright future ahead in cycling.

Stage Six Amgen Tour of California

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Peter Sagan

Liquigas

6:07:08

2

Rory Sutherland

UnitedHealthcare

0

3

Michael Rodgers

HTC-Columbia

0

4

Levi Leipheimer

Radio Shack

0

5

Ryder Hesjedal

HTC-Columbia

0

6

Phil Zajicek

Fly V

0

7

Paul Martens

Rabobbank

0

8

David Zabriskie

Garmin-Transitions

0

9

Jens Voigt

Saxo Bank

0

10

Tom Danielson

Garmin-Transitions

0

General Classification

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Michael Rogers

HTC-Columbia

29:04:03

2

Dave Zabriskie

Garmin-Transitions

00:04

3

Peter Sagan

Liquigas-Doimo

00:09

4

Levi Leipheimer

Team Radioshack

00:14

5

Rory Sutherland

Unitedhealthcare

00:29

6

Marc De Maar

Unitedhealthcare

00:32

7

Ryder Hesjedal

Garmin-Transitions

00:35

8

Janez Brajkovic

Team Radioshack

00:35

9

Christopher Horner

Team Radioshack

00:35

10

Thomas Danielson

Garmin-Transitions

00:35