California - Germany's Jens Voigt captured stage five of the Tour of California, with a solo climb to the hillside finish line, giving him a six-second victory over runner-up Tyler Farrar on Thursday.
Voigt (RadioShack) finished just ahead of stage four winner Farrar and third place Thor Hushovd (BMC) in the 185.7km fifth stage from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) grabbed the overall lead as the American finished with the same time as Farrar.
Voigt launched his attack late in the race, timing it perfectly with five kilometres to go. He finished with a time of four hours, 41 minutes, 16 seconds.
"I thought, 'I'm a little bit stronger than the other guys in the break, but of course, less fast,'" said Voigt. "I said, 'now or never, now or never. Everybody’s hurting now.' And it worked. It worked once again."
Earlier in the race, he was part of an elite group that formed when the crosswinds off the ocean - which had buffetted the riders for much of the day - started to change.
"It wasn't BMC's plan to split the bunch," said van Garderen. "It seemed like a headwind all day but then all of a sudden it changed and you could feel it getting nervous in the bunch. You knew something was going to happen."
The fifth stage began with a steep climb over the San Marcos Pass before taking the riders through a stretch of scenic vineyards and horse country.
The finish line was located at the top of a hill that overlooked the Pacific Ocean in the seaside town of Avila Beach.
The Tour of California continues Friday with an individual time trial in San Jose.
For the first time, the Tour is taking riders on a route from the southern part of the state northward. After starting at Escondido near San Diego, they'll finish on Sunday in Santa Rosa, near San Francisco.
Results on Thursday in the 185.7 kilometre fifth stage of the Tour of California from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach:
Jens Voigt (GER/RadioShack) 4hrs, 41min, 16secs, 2. Tyler Farrar (USA)
at 0.06, 3. Thor Hushovd (NOR) s.t., 4. Peter Sagan (SVK) s.t., 5.
Michael Matthews (AUS) s.t., 6. Jay McCarthy (AUS) s.t., 7. Alexander
Candelario (USA) s.t., 8. Michael Rogers (AUS) s.t., 9. Markel Irizar
Aranburu (ESP) s.t., 10. Tejay van Garderen (USA)
Overall standings after stage five
Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) 21hrs, 55min, 32secs, 2. Michael Rogers
(AUS) at 0:42, 3. Janier Acevedo (COL) 0:50, 4. Matthew Busche (USA)
1:04, 5. Philip Deignan (IRL) 1:17, 6. Cameron Meyer (AUS) 1:29, 7.
Mathias Frank (SUI) 1:35, 8. Francisco Mancebo Perez (ESP) 1:53, 9. Chad
Haga (USA) 2:03, 10. Lawson Craddock (USA) 2:22