Slovakia's Peter Sagan won the fifth stage of the Tour of California on Thursday while American Chris Horner managed to hold onto the overall leader's yellow jersey. Sagan stepped it up in the final 91 meters charging from fifth to first to take his 11th career victory and the 217 kilometer fifth stage from Seaside, California to Paso Robles. He finished in 5:16:03
"It was tough because the race was so long, but my teammates did a great job," the 21-year-old Sagan of Liquiqas-Cannondale said.
But Horner, of RadioShack, held onto the yellow jersey heading into Friday's time trial in the Danish settlement of Solvang, California. Aussie Leigh Howard, of HTC-Highroad, was second, and Britain's Ben Swift, of Sky, finished third. They both had the same time as Sagan. Horner placed 11th in the main field and has a one minute, 15 second lead over American compatriot Levi Leipheimer. Horner seized the yellow jersey with a dominating uphill ride Wednesday.
"I had the best place in the race," said Horner on Thursday. "I didn't need to be at the front. But when the gaps opened up toward the end, Levi pulled me up there."
Tom Danielson, of Garmin-Cervelo, is third overall. His teammate and world champion Thor Hushovd and the Bissell team's Ben Jacques-Maynes were among the riders who left the Tour Thursday. Jacques-Maynes broke his collarbone in an eight-man crash and Hushovd dropped out complaining of sickness.