photo credits @ Amgen Tour of California
Toms Skujins pulled away from Adam De Vos and Xabier Zandio, the only remnants of an early breakaway group, and cruised across the finish line to win Stage 5 of the Tour of California today.
Meanwhile, race leader, Julian Alaphilippe, finished 43 seconds back in a pack of overall contenders during todays 132-mile route, to retain his yellow jersey, while Peter Stetina remained 22 seconds adrift in second with George Bennett 37 seconds back in third.
“We heard that Jasper was coming up, but you know that at altitude after an effort like that even if he comes up he’s going to be cooked, so no one was really worried,” an always confident Skujns said. “We just kind of looked at each other for a bit, and I wasn’t sure how far we were so I didn’t really want to start my sprint too early, especially at altitude. But once we came around the corner I was pretty sure I could get this.”
An 18-rider breakaway group containing Maxime Bouet (Etixx – Quick-Step), teammate Nikolas Maes, Adam Blythe (Tinkoff), Xabier Zandio (Team Sky), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha), Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing), Mark Christian and Owain Doull (TEAM WIGGINS), Toms Skujins (Cannondale), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie), Caleb Fairly (Giant-Alpecin), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo), Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthcare), Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman), Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), and Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling), succeeded in riding clear after 23 kilometers of racing.
Skujins would later attack his breakaway companions after competing for the KOM points during the first Category 2 climb, subsequently picking up 20 seconds, while taking de Vos along with him.
However, the duo was quickly reeled back in by the rest of the breakaway along the descent.
Undeterred however, the duo attacked again while tackling the next Category 2 climb, but this time they were joined by veteran Spanish rider Zandio.
From there, the trio quickly established a 50 second gap over the chase, as they failed to organize an effective pursuit during the remaining few miles.
Heading into the final straight, Skujins, de Vos and Zandio were locked in battle. But, the Team Sky rider quickly began to fade, and soon lost contact with his fellow escapees.
Minutes later, Skujiins decided to unleash a final attack, leaving de Vos unable to respond to his aggressions, as the Cannonade rider easily went on to seize the stage honors.
Meanwhile, the peloton brought in the rest of the top GC contenders some 40 seconds later, but with no significant losses for anyone.
Stage 5 Results
LAT 1 SKUJINS, Toms (CANNONDALE) 5:54:45
CAN 2 DE VOS, Adam (RALLY CYCLING)
ESP 3 ZANDIO ECHAIDE, Xabier (SKY) + 8
BEL 4 STUYVEN, Jasper (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 28
COL 5 RESTREPO, Jhonatan (KATUSHA) + 43
USA 6 SQUIRE, Robbie (HOLOWESKO/CITADEL)
FRA 7 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
USA 8 MCCABE, Travis (HOLOWESKO/CITADEL)
AUS 9 DENNIS, Rohan (BMC RACING)
USA 10 CRADDOCK, Lawson (CANNONDALE)
USA 11 BOOKWALTER, Brent (BMC RACING)
USA 12 STETINA, Peter (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
ESP 13 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
NZL 14 BENNETT, George (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
POR 15 GUERREIRO, Ruben (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN)
GBR 16 GEOGHEGAN HART, Tao (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN)
USA 17 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE)
CAN 18 BRITTON, Rob (RALLY CYCLING)
NED 19 TEN DAM, Laurens (GIANT – ALPECIN)
ESP 20 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
BEL 21 VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen (KATUSHA)
ESP 22 MEGIAS LEAL, Javier (NOVO NORDISK)
FRA 23 SICARD, Romain (DIRECT ENERGIE) + 49
GBR 24 CHRISTIAN, Mark (TEAM WIGGINS) + 53
NOR 25 NORDHAUG, Lars Petter (SKY) + 56
FRA 26 BERNARD, Julien (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
SVK 27 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF)
FRA 28 BOUET, Maxime (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
AUT 29 GOGL, Michael (TINKOFF) + 1:01
NOR 30 SKJOESTAD LUNKE, Sindre (GIANT – ALPECIN)
General Classification after Stage 5
FRA 1 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 24:01:45
USA 2 STETINA, Peter (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 22
NZL 3 BENNETT, George (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 37
USA 4 BOOKWALTER, Brent (BMC RACING) + 40
NED 5 TEN DAM, Laurens (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 49
USA 6 POWLESS, Neilson (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN) + 1:01
AUS 7 DENNIS, Rohan (BMC RACING)
ESP 8 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
CAN 9 BRITTON, Rob (RALLY CYCLING) + 1:12
ESP 10 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 1:15
USA 11 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE)
USA 12 CRADDOCK, Lawson (CANNONDALE) + 1:18
POR 13 GUERREIRO, Ruben (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN) + 1:34
ESP 14 MEGIAS LEAL, Javier (NOVO NORDISK) + 1:39
BEL 15 VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen (KATUSHA) + 1:44
GBR 16 GEOGHEGAN HART, Tao (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN) + 2:13
USA 17 HORNBECK, John (HOLOWESKO/CITADEL) + 3:16
AUS 18 CLARKE, Jonathan (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 3:34
USA 19 SQUIRE, Robbie (HOLOWESKO/CITADEL) + 3:45
ERI 20 TEKLEHAIMANOT, Daniel (DIMENSION DATA) + 4:03
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