Peter Sagan continues to leave his mark on the 2010 Amgen Tour of California after winning his second stage in a row and moving into third in the overall classification. The Liquigas-Doimo rider emerged from the charging main field to outsprint UnitedHealthcare's Rory Sutherland and race leader Michael Rogers.
An early breakaway of eight riders included George Hincapie and Andy Schleck, but the group dwindled as the race went on. Various individual attacks from Team RadioShack, HTC-Columbia and Garmin-Transitions riders forced a chase group of more than 20 riders to quicken the pace and catch the breakaway with about 25 kilometers to the finish.
UnitedHealthcare's Marc De Maar attempted a solo effort but was soon joined by Garmin-Transitions' Matt Wilson. De Maar had started the day in fifth overall, just 28 seconds back on Rogers, whose HTC-Columbia team took over the pursuit of the breakaway pair.
As the course stopped consistently climbing and started to skirt the edge of Big Bear Lake, the chase group drew closer. Just before the one-kilometer-to-go banner, De Maar and Wilson were caught, and the main contenders began to gather at the front of the peloton looking for the time bonuses available at the finish.
Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer held a position near Rogers, but as the peloton entered the final straight, no clear leadout train emerged. Sagan was able to punch through to victory, while Sutherland nipped Rogers at the line for second.
The longest stage in the 2010 race was also deemed the toughest in Tour of California history. At the end of the day, 30 riders were eliminated, disqualified or had abandoned the race.
Tomorrow's Stage 7 is an individual time trial in downtown Los Angeles, a discipline Leipheimer, Zabriskie and Rogers all excel in.
A breakaway makes their way up to the third KOM checkpoint during Stage 6.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Stage 6 Results
- Peter Sagan - Liquigas-Doimo 6:07:08
- Rory Sutherland - UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis +00:00
- Michael Rogers - HTC-Columbia +00:00
- Levi Leipheimer - Team RadioShack +00:00
- Ryder Hesjedal - Garmin-Transitions +00:00
- Phil Zajicek - Fly V Australia +00:00
- Paul Martens - Rabobank +00:00
- Dave Zabriskie - Garmin-Transitions +00:00
- Jens Voigt - Team Saxo Bank +00:00
- Tom Danielson - Garmin-Transitions +00:00
- Michael Rogers - HTC-Columbia 29:04:03
- Dave Zabriskie - Garmin-Transitions +00:04
- Peter Sagan - Liquigas-Doimo +00:09
- Levi Leipheimer - Team RadioShack +00:14
- Rory Sutherland - UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis +00:29
Friday, May 21 — 135.3 miles
Highly anticipated, this stage has been dubbed the most difficult Tour of California stage ever. And for good reason: more than 12,000 feet of climbing, seven opportunities for KOM points, and an alpine finish above 7,000 feet mean all eyes will be on the final kilometers on the shores of Big Bear Lake.
? Sprint points at: Wrightwood, Crestline
? KOM points at Millcreek Summit, CA 2, Cloudburst, Dawson Saddle, Blue Ridge, CA 138, CA 18