San Francisco - Latvia's Toms Skujins won
the fifth stage of the Tour of California on Thursday as Frenchman Julian
Alaphilippe retained his grip on the overall lead.
Cannondale rider Skujins, already a stage
winner in the US cycling showpiece in 2015, came home ahead of Canada's Adam De
Vos (Rally Racing) and Spain's Xabier Zandio of Team Sky.
Skujins' victory came at the end of a
demanding 210 kilometre uphill battle stretching from the scenic California
wine country town of Lodi into the Sierra Nevada Mountains before finishing on
the short of southern Lake Tahoe.
Skujins broke clear with around 19 miles to
go, before being joined by De Vos and Zandio.
Behind them, Jasper Stuyven
(Trek-Segafredo), Mark Christian (Wiggins) and Katusha's Jacopo Guarnieri upped
the pace in an attempt to close the gap but the break proved decisive.
De Vos sought to make a break for the line
but Skujins turned on the power to overhaul the Canadian and claim the win in
5hr 54min 45sec.
Alaphilippe, meanwhile, retained his
overall lead after finishing seventh, 43 seconds off the front.
Alaphilippe remains 22 seconds clear of
American rider Peter Stetina and 37 seconds ahead of Lotto-Jumbo rider George
Bennett of New Zealand.Friday's sixth stage is a 12.6 mile time
trial around the California town of Folsom.
Results and standings after the fifth stage of the Tour of California on Thursday:
5th stage result
1. Toms Skujins (LAT/Cannondale) 5hr 54min 45sec, 2. Adam de Vos (CAN/Rally) same time, 3. Xabier Zandio (ESP/Sky) 8 seconds, 4. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/Trek) 28, 5. Jhonatan Restrepo (COL/Katusha) 43, 6. Rob Squire (USA/Holowesko) s.t., 7. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/Etixx-Quick-Step) s.t., 8. Travis McCabe (USA/Holowesko) s.t. 9. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) s.t., 10. Lawson Craddock (USA/Cannondale) s.t.
1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/Etixx-Quick-Step) 24hr 1min 45sec, 2. Peter Stetina (USA/Trek) at 22 seconds, 3. George Bennett (NZL/Lotto-Jumbo) 37, 4. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 40, 5. Laurens Ten Dam (NED/Giant-Alpecin) 49, 6. Neilson Powless (USA/Axeon) 1:01, 7. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) s.t, 8. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) s.t., 9. Rob Britton (CAN/Rally) 1:12, 10. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/Trek) 1:15.