Tour of California Stage 5: Velits Top 15, Verona Top 20 in Santa Barbara
The bunch sprint was once again foiled at AMGEN Tour of California Stage 5. This time, the cause was Cat. 1 San Marcos Pass late in the 173km stage on Thursday.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Martin Velits and Carlos Verona finished 12th and 17th in the front group behind solo stage winner Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team). Phinney attacked on the descent of San Marcos Pass. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was 2nd, and Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) was 3rd.
Cannondale and Garmin-Sharp pushed the pace on the Cat. 1 climb, which distanced a group of riders including Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish. The pace was too high for that group to catch back on, as the front group then tried to chase down Phinney.
OPQS looks next to a 151.8km Stage 6 on Friday. GC contenders and climbers will be highly active, as the stage finishes on the summit of Mountain High.