Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) got closer to the 2016 Amgen Tour of California overall victory on Friday, placing eighth in the crucial time trial stage in Folsom to retain his position at the top of the general classification.
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) won the 20.3km individual test against the clock with a blistering time of 24 minutes and 16 seconds.
Dennis's time was 17 seconds clear of second-placed Andrew Talansky (Cannondale). Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) showed that he is coming back into top form with third place. Phinney had a long wait in the hot seat as the quickest provisional time - until Talansky reached the line.
Dennis's time elevates him to second place in the general classification, 16 seconds behind Alaphilippe. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) is third at 38 seconds.
Owain Doull (Team Wiggins) was the highest-placed British rider on the stage, posting a solid time of 25-21, which was good enough for 14th spot.
There was no triumphant comeback for Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Wiggins), who won the equivalent stage on his way to the overall victory in 2014. One of the Olympic time trial champion's aerobars appeared to break, and he had to roll steadily back to the finish.
The 2016 Amgen Tour of California continues on Saturday with stage seven, the final hilly stage and the last chance for the overall contenders to have a chance of gaining time on their rivals. The race concludes on Sunday in Sacramento.
Earlier in the day, the Women's Tour of California had its team time trial stage – day two of the race – on the same course as the men's ITT. Team Twenty 16 took the honours, with Boels-Dolmans in second place and UnitedHealthcare in third. Stage one winner Megan Guarnier (Boles-Dolmans) held on to the overall lead.
Amgen Tour of California 2016: Stage six, Folsom ITT, 20.3km
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing in 24-16
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 17 secs
3. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing at 20 secs
4. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin at 33 secs
5. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing at 43 secs
6. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky at 44 secs
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale at 44 secs
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-QuickStep at 45 secs
9. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Katusha at 49 secs
10. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 52 secs
General classification after stage six
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-QuickStep
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 16 secs
3. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing at 38 secs
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 47 secs
5. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 1-08
6. Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale at 1-17
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 1-17
8. Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1-24
9. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1-45
10. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Katusha at 1-48
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1