2009 Stage 6 Play by Play15:39:21 Starting in Santa Clarita, Stage 7, sponsored by Herbalife, will travel 88.9 miles to Pasadena where the stage will conclude with five circuits around the legendary Rose Bowl. En route the riders will battle through two Herbalife Sprints and a California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climb to the category 3 Millcreek Summit (4906 feet). Commentators Frankie Andreu & G.I. JoE Silva will be here for the pre-race show at 11:30 AM PT with live coverage commencing at 12 PM PT. Thanks for riding with us. This is Rick Scott sending you peace, love & cycling bliss from Solvang.
15:29:59 This has already been an unforgettable Amgen Tour of California and we're not finished yet. You can get the same tour merchandise that they sell here at the tour festivals. This year, there are many new clothing and commemorative souvenir offerings available including jerseys, jackets, t-shirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Please visit www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today we have a special on sweatshirts. Enjoy a 15% discount by entering the code sweats09 at checkout.
15:29:38 The all-important 15-mile individual time trial at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California took place in Solvang under bright sunshine and spring-like temperatures in front of a massive crowd. Sponsored by Breakaway from Cancer, Stage 6 traversed a challenging course that tested the riders' limits. Race leader Levi Leipheimer (AST) took a big step closer to his third consecutive Amgen Tour of California title by acing the stage with a winning time of 30:40, eight seconds faster than U.S. National Time Trial champion David Zabriskie (GRM). Gustav Larsson (SAX), who won silver at the Beijing Olympic Games in the time trial, had the third fastest time, 16 seconds slower than Leipheimer, who padded his advantage in the General Classification over Zabriskie.
15:16:36 To help support Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer and make a fashion statement at the same time, pick up at bike chain bracelet for only $5.00 available exclusively at www.calpolywheelmen.org.
14:40:32 The top 3 today are Leipheimer (AST), Zabriskie (GRM) and Larsson (SAX). Leipheimer has added to his overall lead.
14:39:20 Leipheimer crosses the line holding up 3 fingers. He clearly is riding for the Amgen Tour of California three-peat.
14:38:16 He does it! Leipheimer has the stage winning time of 30:40!
14:38:13 He does it! Leipheimer has the stage winning time of 30:40!
14:37:36 It's going to be close to Zabriskie's time!
14:37:29 It's going to be close to Zabriskie's time!
14:37:08 1 km to go for our yellow jersey.
14:36:30 Leipheimer is inside 2 km until the finish.
14:36:06 Rogers will lose his 2nd place GC.
14:35:43 Rogers (THR) is 31:02, 3rd place at the moment.
14:35:00 2.5 km to go for Leipheimer (AST).
14:34:36 Rogers is next to finish. 1 km to go. I'm Rick Scott, your eyes and ears at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Thank you for tuning in.
14:33:15 Armstrong approaches the finish. His time is 31:56, 12th best time.
14:32:46 Unbelievably large crowds here today in Solvang.
14:32:06 Armstrong has 1 km to go.
14:31:03 Armstrong powering up the final rolling roads on course on his way back into town.
14:29:50 Only Armstrong, Rogers and Leipheimer are left to finish.
14:29:26 Zabriskie has the new best time of 30:48!
14:29:02 The top 3 intermediate times today are by Leipheimer (Astana), Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) and Larrson (Saxo Bank).
14:27:17 Leipheimer has the best intermediate time besting Dave Z. in a time of 19:16.
14:26:13 Only 5 riders left to finish.
14:26:01 Current top 3 at the finish at Larrson and Voigt (Saxo Bank) followed by Hincapie (Coluimbia-Highroad).
14:24:53 Leipheimer (AST) is the last man to approach the intermediate mark.
14:24:24 Rogers (Columbia-Highroad) passes the intermediate point in 5th with a time of 19:43.
14:23:23 Armstrong's intermediate time is 20:10.
14:22:54 There are a pair of guys running alongside the riders on the climb wearing Speedos and bike helmets.
14:20:15 Armstrong is on the Ballard Canyon Road climb.
14:19:39 Armstrong is next to arrive the intermediate point. Un loco in a Speedo ran up the hill cheering on Zabriskie.
14:18:21 Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) has the new best time at the intermediate mark at 19:19.
14:17:09 Horner's (Astana) intermediate time was 20:30.
14:16:29 Checu Rubiera (Astana) crosses the finish in 32nd place for the moment.
14:15:43 Wild blue and yellow paint scheme on Leipheimer's Trek time trial machine.
14:13:56 Astana's Chris Horner is approaching the intermediate point.
14:13:52 Astana's Chris Horner is approaching the intermediate point.
14:13:21 Gesink (Rabobank) finishes in 31:55, good enough to keep his Best Young Rider lead.
14:12:00 This has already been an unforgettable Amgen Tour of California and we're not finished yet. You can get the same tour merchandise that they sell here at the tour festivals. This year, there are many new clothing and commemorative souvenir offerings available including jerseys, jackets, t-shirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Please visit www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today we have a special on sweatshirts. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code sweats09 at checkout.
14:11:27 Top 3 times are Larrson (Saxo Bank), Voigt (Saxo Bank) and Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad). The best time is 30:37.
14:08:56 Voigt (Saxo Bank) has the 2nd best finishing time of 31:10.
14:07:51 Leipheimer is off! The Santa Rosa, California resident is the two-time defending champion of this race.
14:06:52 1 km to go for Voigt (saxo Bank).
14:06:24 Our last rider to start today is our overall race leader, Levi Leipheimer (Astana). He won the time trial last year in Solvang and will look to repeat that feat today as his GC lead is only 24 seconds over Rogers.
14:04:03 Up next to start is Australian National Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers (Columbia-Highroad), a former three-time World Time Trial Champion.
14:02:42 Lance is picking teammate Levi Leipheimer to win the stage today. He's referring him as LEVISTRONG.
14:01:55 All cameras are pointed on Armstrong as he takes off down the start ramp. The enormous crowd erupts.
14:00:32 Up next to start on the returned time trial bike that was stolen last weekend after the Prologue in Sacramento is Lance Armstrong (Astana).
13:59:27 David Zabriskie, the USPRO Time Trial Champion, in on course for Garmin-Slipstream.
13:56:50 Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) is through the intermediate point with the 2nd best time of 19:33.
13:56:06 2nd best finishing time for Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) in 31:16.
13:55:28 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) finishes at 31:35.
13:54:56 Vande Velde finishes at 31:49.
13:53:17 1 km to the finish for Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream).
13:52:54 Thomas Lovkvist (Columbia-Highroad) makes his start. He's 6th place in the GC. All the big names are about to start. Stay with us.
13:51:56 Larsson is the first rider to finish under 31 minutes.
13:51:33 New best finishing time by Larsson (Saxo Bank) at 30:57!
13:50:03 Zirbel, McCartney and Clement (Rabobank) are currently at the top of the leader board.
13:49:07 McCartney's (Saxo Bank) finishing time is best at the moment at 31:21. Wait! He just got eclipsed by Tom Zirbel (Bissell) at 31:19.
13:47:40 Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) has the 3rd best intermediate time at 19:44.
13:44:29 O'Grady has the 3rd best time at the finish for Saxo Bank - 31:56.
13:43:45 Landia (OUCH) finishes in a disappointing 33:23, 23rd best time for now.
13:42:54 Today's Stage 6 is sponsored by Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer, a national initiative that strives to empower patients and their caregivers with education, resources and hope. Through Breakaway from Cancer, Amgen and their nonprofit partners aim to increase awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention to diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship. Visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com to connect with a wide array of free services and programs to help people to cancer. You don't have to go through it alone. Like cycling, beating cancer requires a team effort.
13:41:32 Best Young Rider leader Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is on course.
13:41:06 New best intermediate time is by Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) at 19:33.
13:38:19 Tom Zirbel (Bissell) is the 3rd rider to reach the intermediate point under 20 minutes. His time is 19:58.
13:37:03 Rule #1 in time trialing: never miss your start!
13:36:41 Ivan Basso (Liquigas) has missed his start!
13:34:30 Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) is on course.
13:34:03 Approaching the finish is Svein Tuft (Garmin-Slipstream), the Canadian National Time Trial champion. His time is 3rd best at 32:03.
13:32:30 Floyd Landis (OUCH) is past the intermediate point in around 24th place.
13:31:53 Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) approaches the line and finishes in the new best time at 31:21.
13:29:11 Top 3 intermediate times are Clement (Rabobank), McCartney (Saxo Bank)and O'Grady (Saxo Bank).
13:28:06 Top 3 finishes for the moment are Clement (Rabobank), Sutherland (OUCH) and Riblon (AG2R).
13:26:59 George Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) took his start wearing a Camelback for hydration.
13:25:42 20:16 is the new 3rd best intermediate time by Saxo Bank's Stuart O'Grady.
13:25:07 New 2nd best time at the finish by Sutherland (OUCH) at 32:06.
13:24:04 Boisterous crowds are lining the climbs on course.
13:23:17 Jason McCartney is the 2nd rider to come through the intermediate point under 20 minutes His time is 19:49.
13:22:25 Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) is ready to start. He finished 4th in last year's Tour de France and 3rd place overall here.
13:20:09 BMC's Markus Zberg finishes in 33:27, 12th place for the moment.
13:19:19 Astana's Yaroslav Popovych has made his start.
13:17:41 Tim Johnson of OUCH has the 3rd best finish in a time of 32:43.
13:14:56 This has already been an unforgettable Amgen Tour of California and we're not finished yet. You can get the same tour merchandise that they sell here at the tour festivals. This year, there are many new clothing and commemorative souvenir offerings available including jerseys, jackets, t-shirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Please visit www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today we have a special on sweatshirts. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code sweats09 at checkout.
13:14:29 Cavendish's time is 5th best at the moment at 33:08.
13:13:50 Top 3 at the intermediate point are Clement (Rabobank) in 19:43 followed by Rory Sutherland (OUCH) and Riblon (AG2R).
13:11:14 Don't go anywhere as the top of the General Classification will take their starts at 3-minute intervals in less than an hour.
13:08:58 Garmin-Slipstream's Steven Cozza is in the start house. He was a previous winner of the U.S Under 23 National Time Trial Championship.
13:07:41 Pauwels has the 3rd best intermediate time, but obviously faded. I'm Rick Scott and as I discovered by pre-riding the course twice this morning, the second half of the course is the harder part. If you don't pace yourself properly, you will fade towards the end.
13:05:53 Cervelo Test Team's Serge Pauwels finishes at 33:36.
13:04:09 New 3rd place finish by Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) in 33:06.
13:03:25 1 km to the finish for Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad).
13:00:18 Top 3 are Clement followed by Riblon and Michael Barry (Columbia-Highroad).
12:57:00 It's the new best time of 31:23 for Clement.
12:56:29 Here comes Stef Clement (Rabobank), who has the best intermediate time, nearing he finish.
12:55:45 Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) is off on his start. He won the Best Young Rider jersey in last year's Tour de France.
12:54:55 Top 3 riders at the finish are still Riblon (AG2R), Menzies (OUCH) and Hansen (Columbia-Highroad). The time to beat is 32:22.
12:49:19 34:11 finishing time for Chris Baldwin (Rock Racing), a former U.S. Time Trial champion.
12:46:25 New best intermediate time is Stef Clement in 19:43 for Rabobank.
12:45:45 For now the leader's board is Riblon, Menzies and Adam Hansen (Columbia-Highroad).
12:44:02 32:22 is the new best time by Riblon (AG2R).
12:43:32 33:09 is the new best time by Menzies (OUCH).
12:43:10 36:13 finishing time for Fred Rodriguez (Rock Racing).
12:40:36 Mauricio Ardila (Rabobank) just took his start.
12:39:24 Hamilton (Rock Racing) was 22:12 at the intermediate point. Not too bad considering his mechanical.
12:38:08 36:09 is Chicci's time. He barely held off Guptil by a few seconds.
12:37:58 Our first rider, Chicci (Liquigas) is about to finish, but he's about to get passed by Andy Guptil (Colavita/Sutter Home).
12:35:42 Riblon's time is 20:29.
12:34:59 New best intermediate times is by Christophe Riblon (AG2R).
12:32:28 32 riders on course. Mark Cavendish has made his start after winning the last two stages for Columbia-Highroad.
12:30:36 21:35 for Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) at the intermediate point.
12:29:44 Daniel Oss (Liquigas) is through the intermediate spot in 2nd at 21:34.
12:27:07 21:03 is the new best intermediate time by Karl Menzies (OUCH).
12:26:24 The best time at the intermediate point is Andsy Guptil (Colavita/Sutter Home) at 22:24. The point is at 8.7-mile mark at the top of the Ballard Canyon climb.
12:23:49 Michael Barry of Team Columbia-Highroad is ready to take his start.
12:20:33 Quick Step's Marco Velo is off on his start.
12:19:19 Hamilton (Rock Racing) has found his rhythm today, but lost to much time to be a factor today.
12:17:39 Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) is ready to start.
12:16:50 Hamilton is stopped and getting a bike change. The chain is jammed. He's trying to fix it himself and can't. He's off trying to ride again.
12:15:50 Hamilton's chain is off. More problems for Rock Racing today!
12:14:58 Tyler Hamilton, the 2004 Olympic Time Trial gold medalist, is on course for Rock Racing.
12:12:34 One of the six men in the break yesterday, Curtis Gunn (Fly V Australia) has made his start. He's a talented time trial rider, but after being in the break for over 100 miles yesterday, he probably won't have much left in the legs today.
12:09:36 Bad luck! Fast Freddie Rodriguez (Rock Racing) has flatted, but is riding on it as support doesn't seem to be around.
12:08:42 Six men are already on course. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team), the reigning Tour de France champion, has made his start.
12:07:01 The second half of the course is super challenging with a couple of short 2-minute climbs, a fast technical descent, rolling roads that are a bit bumpy and rough, and some quick turns before powering straight back into town for the finish.
12:04:48 The course climbs shortly after the start before reaching a flat straight section that becomes a false flat.
12:01:30 Chicci is on a road bike with clip-on bars.
12:01:07 The first rider - Francesco Chicci (Liquigas) is off. We are underway. The riders are starting at one minute intervals.
11:59:47 It's sunny and the temperature is in the mid-60s, which should be perfect for the riders.
11:59:01 A huge crowd is gathered in Solvang with many people pre-riding the course today, including yours truly. It's a very testing course.
11:57:56 Our commentators are Frankie Andreu & G.I. JoE Silva. If you have comments or questions, show your love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
11:43:06 This has already been an unforgettable Amgen Tour of California and we're not finished yet. You can get the same tour merchandise that they sell here at the tour festivals. This year, there are many new clothing and commemorative souvenir offerings available including jerseys, jackets, t-shirts, hats, socks, cowbells and more. Please visit www.amgentourofcaliforniastore.com. Today we have a special on sweatshirts. Enjoy a 25% discount by entering the code sweats09 at checkout.
11:17:59 While cycling is a team sport, the time trial is an individual race against the clock. Stage races are won and lost in the time trial, thus Stage 6 will be a crucial test for the true contenders for overall victory at the 4th Amgen Tour of California. The drama once again takes place in Solvang, the idyllic Danish village that hosts training camps for ProTour teams and some of the largest cycling events in the U.S. The fast and primarily flat course that includes the short, steep Ballard Canyon climb showcases the beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley as it unfolds through quaint towns, vineyards and farms. With the start and finish located only one block apart, it’s an ideal stage for spectators to watch the best cyclists in the world rise to the challenge.
11:14:11 Good morning and welcome to the quaint Danish enclave known as Solvang, the scene of what is certain to be a dramatic Stage 6 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. I'm Rick Scott and today is the race of truth, a 15-mile individual time trial. No teammates, no hiding. One man against the clock. Two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer (Astana) is in yellow, but three men - Michael Rogers (Team Columbia-Highroad), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) and Lance Armstrong (Astana) - are all within 30 seconds of our leader. The top four also are exceptional time trial riders so today we shall witness a thrilling showdown. Live coverage begins at 12 PM PT when the first rider takes off down the start ramp. Stay with us for what will be a pivotal stage in this year's race.