Esteban Chaves claimed yesterday’s the hilly 6th stage of the 2014 Tour of California, while Bradley Wiggins increased his overall lead by 2 seconds in the general classification standings.
With temperatures surpassing 100 degrees for the third straight day, Chaves won the 99.4 mile stage from Santa Clarita to Mountain High Ski Resort in 4 hours, 9 minutes, 13 seconds.
Meanwhile, Wiggins finished in 5th place during yesterday’s most difficult stage of this year’s race. He now leads Rohan Dennis by 30 seconds.
American Lawson Craddock of the Giant-Shimano team is in third place overall, at 1:48 behind Wiggins.
"The team rode incredibly to put me in that position today," said Wiggins, who took the race lead Monday after claiming the second stage individual time trial by 44 seconds.
David De La Cruz of NetApp-Endura team finished in second place in the stage, which featured 11,700 feet of climbing, including a 17-mile finishing ascent with an average 6.3 percent gradient and to and elevation of 7,200 feet.
"Today was the day, not that you fear it, but the stage you wanted to get through," Wiggins said. "There’s always a danger in a day like today with the heat and attacks coming in the final 40 minutes."
In the meantime, Tom Danielson of the Garmin Sharp team finished third in the stage at 4:09:54.
"The is a fantastic win for me and my teammates," said the 24-year-old Chaves, a third-year pro who claimed his fourth career win. I did not think it was possible until the last two kilometers. To beat guys like Danielson, great champions like Bradley Wiggins is a dream come true."
Chaves, who broke his collarbone last year and competed in only five races, began the stage in 13th position overall. As a result of this performance in yesterday’s stage, he is now in seventh spot in the overall GC.
Danielson, succeeded in escaping with five other riders after 15 miles of racing. From there, the escapees managed build up a lead as much as four minutes over the peloton.
However, as the race approached start of the final 17-mile climb, the main field began to cut its deficit and the lead group was reduced to four riders.
Wiggins, along with his teammate Joe Dombroski, were amongst the group of riders who took up the chase in an effort to reel in the remaining escapees.
The race continues today with an 88.7 mile stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Today’s stage includes two small climbs, the latter of which takes place 39 miles from the finish. A sharp descent will take the riders into Pasadena for three laps around a 3-mile circuit.
Stage 6 Results COL 1 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) 4:09:13 ESP 2 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 13 USA 3 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) + 41 GBR 4 YATES, Adam (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 53 GBR 5 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) USA 6 STETINA, Peter (BMC RACING) + 55 AUS 7 DENNIS, Rohan (GARMIN SHARP) AUS 8 BOBRIDGE, Jack (BELKIN) + 1:07 NZL 9 BENNETT, George (CANNONDALE) + 1:15 USA 10 CRADDOCK, Lawson (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 1:16 NED 11 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN) + 1:21 COL 12 ACEVEDO COLLE, Janier Alexis (GARMIN SHARP) + 1:24 NED 13 OLIVIER, Daan (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 1:32 USA 14 DOMBROWSKI, Joseph Lloyd (SKY) CRC 15 OBANDO BRENES, Gregory (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 1:38 USA 16 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) + 1:41 POR 17 MACHADO, Tiago (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 1:46 ESP 18 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 1:49 COL 19 JARAMILLO DIEZ, Daniel Alexander (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 1:55 USA 20 HAGA, Chad (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 2:09
General Classification after Stage 6 GBR 1 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) 22:03:42 AUS 2 DENNIS, Rohan (GARMIN SHARP) + 30 USA 3 CRADDOCK, Lawson (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 1:48 POR 4 MACHADO, Tiago (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 2:02 GBR 5 YATES, Adam (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2:14 USA 6 STETINA, Peter (BMC RACING) + 2:30 COL 7 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2:39 NED 8 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN) + 3:01 COL 9 ACEVEDO COLLE, Janier Alexis (GARMIN SHARP) + 3:05 ESP 10 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 3:06 USA 11 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) + 3:19 ESP 12 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 3:45 USA 13 BUSCHE, Matthew (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 3:57 NZL 14 BENNETT, George (CANNONDALE) + 4:11 USA 15 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) + 4:27 NED 16 OLIVIER, Daan (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 4:51 CRC 17 OBANDO BRENES, Gregory (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 7:30 SLO 18 KOREN, Kristijan (CANNONDALE) + 8:00 FRA 19 DAMUSEAU, Thomas (GIANT-SHIMANO) + 8:23 COL 20 JARAMILLO DIEZ, Daniel Alexander (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 9:28
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