Stage 6Time: 13:56:04
You can read the Stage 5 race results here.
Stage 6 begins at 10:00 AM in Santa Barbara.
Good morning everyone. Stage 6 starts in about 75 minutes. It's a sunny day again, no clouds in the sky, about 60 degrees right now in Thousand Oaks.
Today's race is 89.5 miles, 144 km. Estimated finish in Thousand Oaks is 1:30 PM.
Trivia question for today (no prize I'm afraid): What super hero showed up to escort the race yesterday? Hint: Look at yesterday's video clips in the Adobe Live Coverage Window. E-mail your answer, or any questions or comments, to ATOCINFO@gmail.com.
All guesses so far are right: Spidey, looking a wee bit out of shape. Richard, I'm not sure where those waterbottles end up. Hopefully they're sterilized if someone resells them.
Yesterday's race saw Discovery put on a leadout clinic and Hincapie won in a sprint, but the standings remained the same.
Something dramatic will have to happen, early, if anyone's going to compete in the GC. Hincapie and and Haedo are neck-in-neck in the sprinters competition, with only 10 points separating them.
The KOM is wide open, and there are four KOM's, too. One about a 1/4 into the race, one 1/2 way, and then two in rapid succession after that. Kohl and Leipheimer will probably go at it.
Anyone want to guess what oddity sightings we'll have today? Cows? Batman?
There was no time bonus awarded yesterday for the final sprint. So Hincapie didn't make up any time.
Kevin just told me that someone was running next to the race yesterday, holding a surfboard...
If anyone has good pictures from the Tour, oddities or otherwise, feel free to send them to ATOCINFO@gmail.com. We WILL proof them...
For folks who just signed on, there were no time bonuses awarded yesterday. In fact, checking back I don't think there have been any for the past few stages.
The riders are rolling out shortly. We don't have video or RF yet, I'm afraid. There is a huge ridge between us and the start...
Today's race finishes with 3 very fast laps around the Amgen campus.
George just told me that there was a Winnie the Pooh at Stage 3. I have 2 kids so he's MY hero.
And they're off to a rolling start in Santa Barbara. On rider is mugging for the camera in front of the pace vehicle.
The riders are all chatting, catching up on news I guess. Drow just pointed out that if you download Google Earth (available from any stage map page) and the map file you can fly right over the course.
The riders are still in the neutral zone.
OK, they're off now. The official car waved the flag and they're racing.
We've received some questions about how the European riders and teams feel about this race, so we did a few interviews:
Brian Holm, Director of T-Mobile looks at this race as pretty important. He said that next year they're looking to have 2 weeks of training next year before the race, rather than just one. The weather and conditions are perfect, and everyone wants to come out here.
Stuart O'Grady also said he'd prefer to race here this time of year. The European riders and teams, and their sponsors are very, very excited about this race.
The pace just picked way up. Phonak is at the front, pushing hard.
Just a note: We are not publishing audio except for occasional moto sound. The reason: The audio is live and unedited. Can't really send that live.
There's a group of six or seven off the front right now. Looks like they have maybe a 10-second gap. A few more riders are bridging.
There's at least one Discovery and Phonak rider in the break. The peloton chased immediately, with Phonak leading the chase. Not sure who's in the break yet.
Correction, Phonak is not in the break. Phonak and Discovery are chasing, including Hincapie. The break has a 20-second lead at 4.5 miles.
The break includes: Sven Krauss of Gerolsteiner, Dominique Perras of OSN/Kodak, Scott Davis of T-Mobile, Brice Jones of Jelly Belly, Mike Jones of Healthnet, Karston Kroon of CSC and Justin England of Toyota-United.
We're receiving our reports from Patty Peoples, Steve Hedge in Media 1, FYI. So we're getting you the best info possible.
At the 7 mile mark the gap is down to 8 seconds. A solo rider - Christian Vandeveldte - is attempting to bridge. We're averaging 35 mph so far.
Ekimov is trying to bridge. At 7.5 miles the gap is back up to 20 seconds. They are just stomping on the pedals....
Quick interview from earlier today: The sprinters are a bit concerned about today. They're not sure they can make it up those last two climbs in the pack and in position for a sprint.
Sorry there are no photos folks. Cell reception is bad, and our photographer uploads his photos via cellular modem.
The break is screaming through Carpinteria. The lead is increasing - at 9 miles it was 1:15. Now it's 2 minutes. Eki is 1:05 behind.
Ekimov just had to have a bike change. He was given a bike by Mavic, not his team. Discovery is driving the peloton hard right now.
Toyota United is taking a turn at the front now.
11.5 miles. The gap is 2:05. Eki is 1:20 back after the bike change. Media 1 is headed back to the peloton to see how it's going there.
Heading up the first KOM. The break is still ahead. At the front of the peloton there are several teams, just kind of eyeing each other.
Discovery is just hammering at the front now.
The leaders are descending after the first KOM. Results coming shortly. The next KOM comes very quickly after.
Over the first KOM it's Scott Davis, then Mike Jones, then Dominique Perras. The gap is down to 34 seconds. The peloton is really pushing.
Everyone's on the second KOM now.
At 19 miles into the race there's a guy with a huge horn helmet running alongside the race with a flag. The leaders are starting to look over their shoulders, and the Discovery Train rolls on.
Leaders just got over the top of the KOM. Their lead is shrinking. Two CSC riders had to get wheel changes at 14.5 miles. We're at 20 miles now. Very steep 1-mile downhill starting now.
The peloton is over the top now. The KOM winners for the 2nd one are: Sven Krauss, Dominque Perras and then Scott Davis. Gap might be increasing again.
Scott Brice has been reabsorbed by the peloton.
At 25 miles the peloton is definitely suffering, strung out single-file. Next up is a sprint at 31.2 miles. The lead may be back to over a minute. We're trying to confirm that. Speeds on the descent: 50+ MPH
On the descent Discovery is leading in a very smooth paceline again. Hincapie is at the front. Will they have enough energy at the finish?
Sorry everyone the video is very tough today. Our aircraft relay has to divert for a short while.
Gap is down to 45 seconds at 26.5 miles. Break is working well.
5k from the first sprint. The gap to the break is only 35 seconds. The crowds are great again.
The peloton is averaging 26 mph now, even witht he climbs. Phonak is helping Discovery at the front now.
The leaders just got through Ojai. The peloton is just hammering with Discovery at the front. It's just a single line of riders as far as you can see.
The gap to the break is now down to just under 30 seconds.
The peloton can see the break now. Sven Krauss just jumped away from the leaders to try to get the sprint.
Krauss, a Gerolsteiner rider, is driving for the line, alone, looking over his shoulder. There's a KOM right after this sprint.
Three riders just bridged to Krauss, but they all got reeled in. There are multiple attacks going on right now. Sprint results shortly.
There's another break off the front, but it looks like they're getting reeled back in.
Sprint results: Sven Krauss, David Kopp of Gerolsteiner, and then Tom Danielson of Discovery.
Levi is charging away for the KOM. He's got a good gap. Looking over his shoulder.
Correction from media 1: Fabian Wegmann of Gerolsteiner was the one who charged. KOM results in a moment. Temperature is 75 degrees, average speed 25 mph.
There's a group of about 14 joining up with Wegmann off the front. Two riders are trying to bridge. Looks like the peloton is slowing a bit as we approach the feed zone.
KOM results: Fabian Wegmann then Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner, then Sebastian Portal, then Floyd Landis of Phonak.
The lead group just got caught. The peloton is headed for the feed zone.
There's another break at mile 38: Jose Angel Gomez of Prodir, Levi Leipheimer, Sebastian Portal, and Mike Creed are about 10 seconds ahead.
The break's up to 10 or so people. Jens Voigt just had a wheel change. Then his mechanic literally leaned out of the car to adjust his brake while Voigt rode alongside.
The next sprint is a downhill run.
The break got absorbed again. No one's letting Levi escape that easily...
Feed zone time.
The peloton stocked up on food and drinks and is headed for the descent. The sprint is at the bottom.
The peloton is rolling along now, not in a big hurry. They're spanning the whole road.
Sven Krauss of Gerolsteiner is 10 seconds off the front with 1.5 miles to the sprint in Santa Paula.
The peloton just started to chase. Discovery wants to protect the sprinters jersey. CSC is up there too, with Gerolsteiner trying to disrupt the chase.
OK, having a hard time with numbers today. It's Sebastian Lang, not Sven Krauss, off the front.
The peloton let up a bit and Lang took advantage. He's got a 30 second lead. He won the sprint. Steve Zampieri, then Martin Elmiger...
Mile 49 and we're headed for the Balcom Canyon KOM at 55.4 miles. Lang is still off the front. Phonak is trying to push the peloton now.
A Phonak rider got tricky - rode up to a CSC guy and chatted with him while two other Phonak riders raced past. It didn't work. Nice try though. Average speed, 27 mph.
At 51 miles Lang is 1:15 ahead now. He looks very smooth.
A few notes about Lang: He was the under 23 German time trial champ. Later on in his career, he got second place in the German TT championships. So he's got a good motor for this. 1:50 lead.
The peloton just made the sharp right up the KOM. Lang is still ahead. In last year's Tour de France he was Levi's LT on the road. He's very well-rounded. He's very talented on cobblestone races, too. He's very comfortable all alone.
The peloton is in no hurry. Lang is 2:40 ahead, 1km from the KOM. If he can stay ahead down the descent...
Lang is working hard up the KOM. The gap is up to 2:45. This is a very gutsy effort. The grim reaper is chasing him up the hill. That's not a typo, but it is the Oddity of the Day.
Lang looks like he's going to win the KOM. The horn-hat guy is cheering him on. He must be driving fast to get ahead of the peloton. The peloton is chasing harder now.
Lang is on the descent. The crowds are HUGE. We had a minor pileup - David Z dropped his chain. He's back up and on his way.
The peloton is still on the climb. That crash slowed them down. We'll get more info if we can. It's 80 degrees on the climb, and it looks steep.
The peloton is very strung out now, heading down the descent.
The peloton is breaking up. A number of riders are trying to chase Lang.
The KOM results are: Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile), Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)
The peloton is chasing hard again. Lang is heading into a small valley, then he's on another climb. Then he has 3 finish circuits around the Amgen campus. If he can maintain a lead to the climb that might help him stay away...
Lang is now 2 minutes ahead at mile 29. Dominique Perras of OSN Kodak is about 15 seconds ahead of the peloton, trying to chase.
The pack slowed for a moment, and Lang is now 2:05 ahead. Perras is 20 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Sebastian Lang is just putting in one heck of a gutsy ride today. He's at mile 60 now.
Lang has stretched his lead to 2:30. The peloton is single file again.
Christian VandeVelde's dad is here with me and told me that Christian feels this is one of the best races he's attended. Great crowds, great organization.
Patty just spoke with the director of OSN Kodak - Perras, the rider trying to bridge, is on his team - the director said that they are trying to push the pace and avoid a sprint finish.
We just heard that Lance Armstrong is in the caravan today. I got that from the announcer here...
Perras is 1:40 behind Lang with 24 or so miles to go. The peloton is making a sharp left over railroad tracks. Lang is 3:05 ahead!
The riders will top another climb, then it's a slight rolling downhill to the finish.
Lang is superhuman today. The lead is now 3:15. But now Toyota has come to the front and is pulling the peloton hard for Perras.
Lang just had a word from his team vehicle at the 70 mile marker.
Lang is now 3:00 ahead. The peloton is single file, chasing hard. Toyota United is still driving.
T-Mobile and Toyota United are setting the pace. Landis is sitting comfortably amidst his Phonak teammates. The crowd is four or five deep at the finish.
Perras is about to be caught. He made a gallant effort, but he's looking back. The peloton is totally single file now. Uh oh. Gerolsteiner rider is getting a wheel change.
It was Sebastian Lang. Oh no! He lost about a minute as the Mavic wagon took quite a while to change his tire. What horrific bad luck.
Lang is now only 1:30 ahead. A marshal just came up and showed the time to Lang. He's gotta be steaming.
Lang looks tired. He's pedaling in squares, not circles now, which means he's fatigued.
Toyota United and T-Mobile continue to lead. Lang's lead is shrinking fast: 1:00. At mile 79 he'll be into the 3-loop circuit.
Hincapie is clearly biding his time in the peloton, staying out of trouble and letting Toyota do the work. Can they catch Lang and let him go for a third stage win?
Well, Lang made one of the gutsiest efforts of the Tour. But he's only 50 meters ahead. And now the peloton has caught him.
This is setting up to be another sprint, folks. Hincapie and Haedo are eying each other as they start to head for mile 74 or so. The field is entering Thousand Oaks, with the three circuits about 7 miles ahead.
Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann just jumped away on the last climb. Three riders have joined him, including Lang again!
This is NOT Lang's day - he bumped helmets with a fan and dropped back into the peleton. The four-man break is getting caught as the peloton hits 40 MPH. We are 25 k from the finish.
Two riders trying to break away again. They've got about an 8 second gap. Looks like one Gerolsteiner and one CSC rider...
Now Sven Krauss of Gerolsteiner has taken a flier with an eight-second lead. Gerolsteiner is just punishing the peloton today.
Krauss has a 15 second lead with 3 miles before the circuits. Think about this. He built this lead from a peloton that's going 35-40 MPH!
Marco Pinotti of Prodir Suainier Duval is trying to bridge. Krauss is still 15 seconds ahead. Leipheimer, by the way, has solidified his KOM lead, and there are no more KOMs tomorrow.
A HARD right hand turn, and Krauss is 18 seconds ahead, approaching the 3 circuits.
Here comes Krauss. He is getting a well-deserved yell from the crowd as he rides by us. He is in pain, folks but he's increased his lead to 20 seconds. Pinotti has been caught by the peloton.
Here comes the peloton 20 seconds behind, just flying around the course.
Looks like it's over for Krauss. Lead is down to 7 seconds. As a rule the peloton can make up 6 seconds per KM. Toyota is pulling hard. 7 miles to go...
The pack is swarming towards Krauss.
Lang is caught and here somes CSC to the front! Trying to set up Stuart O'Grady, I'm sure. 2 laps to go. 7 minutes per lap right now. Six CSC riders at the front.
Hahahaha. A Phonak rider is riding along with a thunder bat, slamming it on his helmet. Must've gotten it from the crowd...
The peloton is accelerating. It's a slight uphill to the finish, by the way, with gentle, sweeping turns in what's almost a chicayne. T-Mobile is coming to the front too, now, but CSC is still controlling. We're on the bell lap, folks. One to go!
Jens Voigt is at the front, pulling CSC along. Healthnet and T-Mobile are trying to rally and come around, but Voigt is just powering CSC at the front. A sharp right turn, then another right and a left. Then a gentle downhill before a small uphill finish.
CSC is accelerating as other teams try to come around.
CSC is trying to do what Discovery did yesterday, pushing the pace to 32 MPH.
Toyota and Healthnet are moving up.
Haedo of Toyota is sneaking into the CSC train...
WHOA. Gerolsteiner rider Haselbacker has attacked with 700 meters to go!!!! Here they come.
Here comes Hasselbacker!! Can he hold it? No! T-Mobile has caught him! Olaf Pollack of T-Mobile gets it! Wow folks that was amazing.
When Hasselbacker attacked the whole peloton just broke into a sprint. CSC got swarmed and Olaf Pollack of T-Mobile broke through. Best finale yet!
Unofficial 1-2-3 are Olaf Pollack of T-Mobile, then Marco Pinotti of Prodir, and then Fred Rodriguez of Davitamon-Lotto. Leipheimer has won the KOM.
OK folks, one stage to go. Thanks for all your great e-mails today. We'll post the official standings when we get them. See you tomorrow from Redondo Beach.
There's some confusion about the 2nd place finisher - it's either Marco Pinotti or Ricardo Ricco of Prodir. We heard one from race radio and another from the announcer just now...
Sorry folks, it was Ricardo Ricco in second place.