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20 May 2016 - 23:05

California: time trial inflicts significant changes in the overall

"It's a disappointment; there is no other way to put it right now."

There was no hiding in the windy, rolling 20.3-kilometer race against the clock – a power course suited to the specialists – and when the final rider crossed the line and the dust settled the overall classification looked vastly different.

Peter Stetina, who has shown to be one of the strongest climbers in this year's race, dropped from 2nd to 13th, while teammate Haimar Zubeldia - quickest of the team in 25th place -  fell from 10th to 12th.

"It was hard to judge your feeling in this time trial because the wind was changing direction all the time," explained Zubeldia. "Sometimes you felt fast, and sometimes you felt the wind and really slowed. There was nothing technical and you could always stay in the aero position and never have to brake except for a little for the corners. It was about the legs and the power. I think I did a regular TT for me. I am happy with my time."

Rohan Dennis (BMC), fingered as a pre-race favorite, clocked the fastest time in 24 minutes and 33 seconds. But race leader Julian Alaphilippe would not let the gold jersey go without a fight; he put in an incredible performance to hold onto the race lead by 16 seconds over Dennis. Brent Bookwalter (BMC) moved into third place.

The climbing is good, and the form is back on track for the Grand Tours and WorldTour races, but still my perennial problem is the TT, the weak link.

Stetina: "In a perfect world, I wanted to keep on the podium, or at least top 5. I really did not want to let everyone down and fall out of the top 10 and that is what happened. It's a disappointment; there is no other way to put it right now. 

"I honestly didn't even feel that bad, but I think my pacing was off and I was fighting too much when it wasn't time to. I think I need to analyze the pacing – I kept going above and below myself instead of dosing the effort; playing a game of catch-up with myself. It was definitely a sub-par performance, but I mean, I finished totally empty.

"The climbing is good, and the form is back on track for the Grand Tours and World Tour races, but still my perennial problem is the TT, the weak link. But you know Trek-Segafredo has a top aerodynamics team and they are pretty keen on looking at the file and helping me."

With a changed order in the GC, tomorrow's stage seven has opened the door to for an aggressive battle; add in Stetina's familiarity with the course, plus a hungry and determined team, and the stage is set to be a thrilling one.

"Tomorrow's super hard so it's not over yet," pointed out Stetina. "I know every inch of every road on tomorrow's stage; that's my annual winter training ride when I got to get a six-hour ride in. It's a tough one. It's one of those stages that is almost impossible to control. If the race is aggressive, we will look to be a part of it." 

 
Sunday
15
Sunday
22

Amgen Tour of California

United States
1
Julian Alaphilippe
Etixx-Quick Step
2
Rohan Dennis
BMC Racing
+21"
3
Brent Bookwalter
BMC Racing
+43"
20
Trek-Segafredo
+7'17"
21
Trek-Segafredo
+7'35"
32
Trek-Segafredo
+19'39"
57
Trek-Segafredo
+47'33"
86
Trek-Segafredo
+1:09'37"
93
Trek-Segafredo
+1:14'19"
108
Trek-Segafredo
+1:25'43"

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