Wiggins retains the California lead as Chaves wins stage

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Sun, May 18, 2014 - Page 19

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins retained the Tour of California overall lead on Friday as Colombia’s Esteban Chaves won the sixth stage from Santa Clarita to Mountain High.

Wiggins, who took the lead with a triumph in the second-stage individual time trial on Monday, finished fifth in the toughest stage of the race and extended his overall lead to 30 seconds going into the final two stages this weekend.

Orica rider Chavez powered solo to win the 152km stage that ended in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles in a time of 4 hours, 9 minutes and 13 seconds.

On a day when temperatures again soared into the upper 30s Celsius, the Colombian climber attacked from a small group in the last 5km of the final ascent, putting some room between himself and David de la Cruz of Spain, and the US’ Tom Danielson.

De la Cruz finished second, 13 seconds back, and Danielson was third, 41 seconds adrift.

Briton Adam Yates was fourth, 53 seconds back, with Wiggins fifth in the same time.

Most importantly, Wiggins held off his nearest rival in the overall classification, Australian Rohan Dennis. Garmin’s Dennis finished seventh, 55 seconds off the lead to surrender 2 seconds to Wiggins overall.

The race was to continue yesterday with a 143km stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena, and was scheduled to conclude today in Thousand Oaks, in rolling countryside west of Los Angeles.