David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo) blitzed the opposition to win the Solvang individual time trial in the Tour of California on Friday.
Pre-stage favourite Zabriskie rode smoothly around the undulating 24km circuit in 30-36, a new course record.
Overall hope Levi Leipheimer was the only rider to come close to Zabriskie’s time, but even he was 14 seconds behind the Garmin man. Third place went to Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) at 40 seconds.
Britain’s Ian Stannard (Sky) set the early best time of 32-07 before the top seeded riders came through the finish gate. His time was good enough for 18th on the stage, 1-32 behind Zabriskie.
Crucially, race leader Chris Horner (Radioshack) finished sixth in the time trial to keep his race lead. Radioshack team-mate Leipheimer is now his closest challenger, lying just 38 seconds behind Horner. Australian Roroy Sutherland (Unitedhealthcare) continues his good performance at this year’s ToC and is third behind Horner at 1-38.
Chris Froome (Sky) is top British rider overall in 17th spot, 4-25 adrift of Horner.
One of the biggest time loses of the day was Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek), who slipped to 10th overall from sixth after finishing 38th in the time trial some 2-15 behind Zabriskie.
On Saturday, the riders hit the penultimate stage of the 2011 Tour of California – another GC shaker finishing atop Mount Baldy. The race then concludes in Thousand Oaks on Sunday.
Tour of California 2011, stage six: Solvang to Solvang, 24km ITT
1. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Cervelo in 30-36
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Radioshack at 14 secs
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad at 40 secs
4. Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad at 48 secs
5. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank at 49 secs
6. Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack at 51 secs
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek at 53 secs
8. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell at 59 secs
9. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare at 59 secs
10. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-01
Overall classification after stage six
1. Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Radioshack at 38 secs
3. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Unitedhealthcare at 1-38
4. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-39
5. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-44
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad at 1-54
7. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard-Trek at 2-26
8. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Cervelo at 2-27
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 2-43
10. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek at 2-54
Race leader Chris Horner
Stage winner Dave Zabriskie
Brit Ian Stannard put down the early best time
Chris Horner on the podium
Tour of California 2011: Related links
Stage five: Sagan wins as Dowsett crashes out
Stage four: Horner takes control
Stage three: Henderson makes it two for Sky in California
Stage two: Swift wins and takes lead
Snow forces Tour of California opening stage cancellation
Tour of California to be shown on ITV4