American time trial specialist Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) won today’s stage 5 time trial at the Amgen Tour of California. The U.S. time trial champion covered the 29.7-kilometer route in Bakersfield, California, in 35:39.
“I came out here in February and videotaped the course. I had a few spots where I wanted to soft pedal but maintain speed,” he said. “It sounds weird, but you can do it. The turnaround was one of those spots.
“This was a really good course for me. Any course where I don’t have to get out of the aerobars is good for me. I really liked the course.”
The victory also earned Zabriskie the yellow leader’s jersey. He was 40 seconds behind previous leader Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale, and he beat the four-stage winner by almost four minutes.
But Zabriskie was cautious about his chances to hang on to the jersey: “It would be the biggest win of my life, my career, if I won the overall. But it’s definitely not easy.”
A surprising Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) held on for second place, 23 seconds back, and American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) took third, 34 seconds behind.
The race shook up the CG standings before tomorrow’s sixth stage to Big Bear Lake. Van Garderen climbed to second on GC, 34 seconds behind Zabriskie, with Robert Gesink of Rabobank 39 seconds back.
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