Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) broke a two year win drought at World Tour level for his team when he claimed the fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California atop Mt. Baldy. Race leader Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) took second, in the same time as Talansky, with George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) two seconds back in third.
 
 
The overall standings sees Majka extend his lead over Bennett to six seconds, with Ian Boswell (Sky) retaining third place, 25 seconds off the race lead, while Talansky moved into fourth place, 44 seconds behind Majka.
 
 
After a couple of days that favoured the sprinters, the 125 kilometre fifth stage, from Ontario to Mt. Baldy, was going to be one for the climbers, with a tough route finishing with the brutal climb up the slopes of Mt. Baldy.
A big group managed to break clear of the peloton early on, with some 25 riders making the initial selection. However, as the group hit the first climb, another selection happened, with 13 riders making the eventual lead group. New Zealand was well represented in the group, with Greg Henderson (United Healthcare) and Jack Bauer (Quickstep) both making the move, along with Bauer’s teammate Matteo Trentin, Henderson’s teammate Danile Jaramillo, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), the previous day’s stage winner Evan Huffman (Rally) and his teammate Rob Britton,
Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) and his teammate Nils Politt, Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Yoann Bagot (Cofidis), Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb), and Truls Korsaeth (Astana).
 
 
A couple of the riders in the move were there with an eye to gaining points in the king of the mountains competition, wiht Jaramillo and Huffman clearly having their sights set on the title. Jaramillo drew first blood as he claimed the first KOM sprint ahead of Huffman, with Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) bridging to the leaders after the first climb. 
At the head of the peloton, Bora-Hansgrohe was keeping a close eye on affairs, keeping the gap manageable for race leader Majka, while LottoNL-Jumbo also put in some work in support of Bennett.
 
 
At the head of the race, Britton attacked, with Kennaugh initially going with him, but he was soon solo as Kennaugh slipped back, while the rest of the break exploded all over the slopes of the second KOM climb. Kennaugh held on for second over the climb, with Jaramillo taking third ahead of Huffman. As the remnants of the break started going back to the peloton, with 15 kilometres to go, Britton was still out in front on his own, followed by Kennaugh at 1:15 back, with Bauer sitting 1:50 back. Bauer soon found himself being swept up by the yellow jersey group, which was being driven along by Bennett’s LottoNL-Jumbo team. As the race turned onto the lower slopes of the final climb, they had Britton in their sights, but it was a much reduced field that eventually caught up to the Rally rider. With five kilometres left to go, the lead group was down to a very select 18 riders, with the top riders in the overall standings all present and accounted for.
 
 
Majka was there, with a teammate in Pawel Poljanski, as was Bennett, with his teammate Robert Gesink. Boswell had two teammates with him in Tao Geoghegan-Hart and David Lopez Garcia, while Cofidis with Nicolas Edet and Luis Angel Mate, Cannondale-Drapac with Talansky and Nathan Brown, and BMC with Brent Bookwalter and Samuel Sanchez, also had multiple riders in the move. Haimar Zubeldia (Trek-Segafredo), Sepp Kuss (Rally), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Sam Oomen (Sunweb), and Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) made up the rest of the lead group.
 
 
The group kept on reducing, and soon it was only Majka, Bennett, Boswell, Talansky, Bookwalter, Oomen, and Morton left in the running at the head of the race. Talansky looked to be the most aggressive of the riders from early on the slopes, and his attacks further whittled down the lead group as only Majka and Bennett could follow his attacks. The three soon opened a substantial gap, but Boswell fought tooth and nail to get back to the three leaders, and as they started watching one another, he made his way back.
 
 
This scenario played out again and again on the climb, as Talansky, then Majka, then Bennett would attack, each time dislodging Boswell, who would fight his way back to the leaders valiantly every time. Talansky looked strong, but Bennett looked to respond with relative ease. However, as they charged into the last couple of hundred metres, it looked like Bennett misjudged a corner slightly and lost momentum, allowing Talansky and Majka to get a gap. The two leaders charged for the line, with Talansky taking a long overdue win for Cannondale-Drapac, as Majka took second, ahead of a rather dejected Bennett who crossed the line two seconds later. Boswell managed to hang on for fourth, five seconds off the stage winner, with Bookwalter a further three seconds back in fifth.
 
 
The overall classification saw Majka extend his lead over Bennett to six seconds, with Boswell still in third, but slipping back a little to 25 seconds off the race lead. Talansky now finds himself in fourth, 44 seconds off the lead.
 
 
The sixth stage will see another showdown in the overall standings, as the riders take on a 24 kilometre individual time trial in Big Bear Lake. Strong time trial riders like Talansky (44 seconds off the race lead) and Bookwalter (1:02 off the race lead) could move up the standings, while Majka and Bennett will look to limit their losses in the hope of holding on to a podium position.
 
Stage results:
Rank Name Nat. Team   Result
Andrew TALANSKY USA CDT   3:43:15
Rafal MAJKA POL BOH   +0
George BENNETT NZL TLJ   +2
Ian BOSWELL USA SKY   +5
Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC   +8
Sam OOMEN NED SUN   +20
Lachlan MORTON AUS DDD   +27
Tao GEOGHEGAN HART GBR SKY   +40
Robert GESINK NED TLJ   +40
10  Sepp KUSS USA RLY   +56
11  Vegard Stake LAENGEN NOR UAD   +56
12  Luis Angel MATE MARDONES ESP COF   +1:32
13  Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS   +1:37
14  Enric MAS NICOLAU ESP QST   +1:59
15  Gavin MANION USA UHC   +2:04
16  Nicolas EDET FRA COF   +2:13
17  Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP BMC   +2:13
18  David LOPEZ GARCIA ESP SKY   +2:27
19  Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE COL UHC   +3:28
20  Maximilian SCHACHMANN GER QST   +3:28
21  Benjamin KING USA DDD   +3:41
22  Nathan BROWN USA CDT   +3:46
23  Robert BRITTON CAN RLY   +3:46
24  Michael SCHÄR SUI BMC   +4:10
25  Mathias LE TURNIER FRA COF   +4:38
26  Serghei TVETCOV ROU JBC   +4:57
27  Adam DE VOS CAN RLY   +5:25
28  Tiago MACHADO POR KAT   +5:40
29  Pawel POLJANSKI POL BOH   +5:50
30  Greg HENDERSON NZL UHC   +7:22
31  Floris DE TIER BEL TLJ   +8:27
32  Javier MEGIAS LEAL ESP TNN   +8:27
33  Daan OLIVIER NED TLJ   +8:27
34  Stéphane ROSSETTO FRA COF   +9:01
35  Brendan CANTY AUS CDT   +9:02
36  Lennard HOFSTEDE NED SUN   +9:28
37  Peter KENNAUGH GBR SKY   +10:04
38  Alberto BETTIOL ITA CDT   +10:30
39  Mike TEUNISSEN NED SUN   +10:30
40  Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA COF   +10:53
41  Scott THWAITES GBR DDD   +12:19
42  Nils POLITT GER KAT   +14:35
43  Daniel Alexander JARAMILLO DIEZ COL UHC   +16:12
44  Jonathan CLARKE AUS UHC   +16:12
45  Jhonatan RESTREPO VALENCIA COL KAT   +16:12
46  Peter SAGAN SVK BOH   +17:25
47  Jay MCCARTHY AUS BOH   +17:25
48  Jack BAUER NZL QST   +17:25
49  Evan HUFFMAN USA RLY   +17:42
50  GREGORY DANIEL USA TFS   +17:55
51  Jordan CHEYNE CAN JBC   +18:14
52  Artyom ZAKHAROV KAZ AST   +19:31
53  Antwan TOLHOEK NED TLJ   +19:33
54  Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG RSA DDD   +19:52
55  Bert-Jan LINDEMAN NED TLJ   +20:07
56  Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ   +20:33
57  Joonas HENTTALA FIN TNN   +21:16
58  Charles PLANET FRA TNN   +21:16
59  Geoffrey SOUPE FRA COF   +21:16
60  Roy CURVERS NED SUN   +21:16
61  Kristijan ÐURASEK CRO UAD   +21:16
62  Daniil FOMINYKH KAZ AST   +21:16
63  Floris GERFS NED BMC   +21:32
64  Yoann BAGOT FRA COF   +21:39
65  Jean-Pierre DRUCKER LUX BMC   +21:42
66  Ruslan TLEUBAYEV KAZ AST   +21:42
67  Ramon SINKELDAM NED SUN   +21:55
68  Johannes FRÖHLINGER GER SUN   +21:55
69  Koen DE KORT NED TFS   +21:55
70  Mads Würtz SCHMIDT DEN KAT   +22:01
71  Daniel EATON USA UHC   +22:09
72  Matteo TRENTIN ITA QST   +22:25
73  Zdenek ŠTYBAR CZE QST   +22:25
74  Nick DOUGALL RSA DDD   +22:27
75  Lawson CRADDOCK USA CDT   +22:31
76  Truls KORSÆTH NOR AST   +22:43
77  Jonathan DIEBBEN GBR SKY   +22:49
78  Owain DOULL GBR SKY   +22:49
79  Federico ZURLO ITA UAD   +22:49
80  Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS   +22:49
81  Michal KOLÁR SVK BOH   +23:38
82  Bernhard EISEL AUT DDD   +23:56
83  Fabio SABATINI ITA QST   +25:25
84  David LOZANO RIBA ESP TNN   +25:25
85  Romain GIOUX FRA TNN   +25:25
86  Martin ELMIGER SUI BMC   +25:25
87  Martin VELITS SVK QST   +25:25
88  Rick ZABEL GER KAT   +25:25
89  Joshua BERRY USA JBC   +25:25
90  Elia VIVIANI ITA SKY   +25:25
91  Simone CONSONNI ITA UAD   +25:25
92  Marco MATHIS GER KAT   +25:25
93  Matteo DAL-CIN CAN RLY   +25:25
94  Danny PATE USA RLY   +25:25
95  Kiel REIJNEN USA TFS   +25:25
96  Filippo GANNA ITA UAD   +25:25
97  Yousef MIRZA BANIHAMMAD UAE UAD   +25:25
98  Rúben GUERREIRO POR TFS   +25:25
99  Marcel KITTEL GER QST   +25:25
100  Ulises Alfredo CASTILLO SOTO MEX JBC   +25:25
101  Tanner PUTT USA UHC   +25:25
102  Ben WOLFE USA JBC   +25:25
103  Colin JOYCE USA RLY   +25:25
104  Juraj SAGAN SVK BOH   +25:25
105  Maciej BODNAR POL BOH   +25:25
106  Sean BENNETT USA JBC   +25:25
107  Tom BOHLI SUI BMC   +25:25
108  John DEGENKOLB GER TFS   +25:25
109  Travis MCCABE USA UHC   +25:25
110  Taylor PHINNEY USA CDT   +25:25
111  Jacob RATHE USA JBC   +25:25
112  Miles SCOTSON AUS BMC   +25:25
113  Arman KAMYSHEV KAZ AST   +25:25
114  Matti BRESCHEL DEN AST   +25:25
115  Michael MORKOV DEN KAT   +25:25
116  Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT   +25:25
117  Jonas VAN GENECHTEN BEL COF   +25:25
118  Koen BOUWMAN NED TLJ   +25:25
119  Laurens DE VREESE BEL AST   +26:10
120  Tyler FARRAR USA DDD   +26:10
121  Marko KUMP SLO UAD   +26:14
122  Christopher WILLIAMS AUS TNN   +26:47
123  Wouter WIPPERT NED CDT   +26:47
OTL Erik BASKA SVK BOH   +34:31
OTL Riccardo MINALI ITA AST   +40:22
OTL Andrea GUARDINI ITA UAD   +40:46
DNF Mark RENSHAW AUS DDD    
DNF Andrea PERON ITA TNN    
DNF Martijn VERSCHOOR NED TNN    

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