Hincapie wins but Floyd sticks with him

George Hincapie wins the main mountain stage of the Tour of California into Santa Barbara, but can't

George Hincapie wins the main mountain stage of the Tour of California into Santa Barbara, but can't

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Floyd Landis edged ever closer to what the Phonak rider has admitted would be the biggest win of his career on Wednesday, despite GC rival George Hincapie taking his second stage victory in the inaugural Tour of California.

Hincapie was first over the Santa Barbara finish-line ahead of Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegman and the remainder of a 37-man lead group which had formed on the San Marcos Pass, 25 kilometres from home. With no bonuses on offer for stage victories here, Hincapie remains fourth on GC tonight, 45 seconds adrift of Landis. THe CSC duo of David Zabriskie and Bobby Julich remain second and third, respectively 29 and 34 seconds down on the race leader.

Commenting on the likelihood of a last-ditch coup to unseat Landis, Hincapie admitted: "There aren't many climbs left. Obviously, Floyd hasn't been in any trouble. For now we are just happy with two stage wins. The final two stages are more for the real sprinters but we will still be racing. We can't give Floyd an easy ride to Redondo Beach, that wouldn't be any fun!"

Earlier in the day Hincapie had underlined his improving form ahead of the Spring Classics season with a fierce acceleration in sight of the summit of the San Marcos. "It seemed like the Phonak guys were hurting [and] once I saw that Floyd was alone - and I felt really good on the climb - I decided to give it a shot to see if I could get away," he said. "But the descent is not very difficult and I still had five or six guys in the main group."

Stage 5, San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara

1 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 169.5km in 3.52.02 (43.83kph)
2 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Chris Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto
4 Josep Jufre (Spa) Davitamon-Lotto
5 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval
6 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner
7 Hayden Roulston (NZ) Health Net
8 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators
9 Scott Davis (Aus) T-Mobile
10 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Kodakgallery.com

18 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak

Overall

1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 16.29.40
2 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC 0.29
3 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 0.34
4 Hincapie 0.45
5 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Health Net 1.08
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 1.10
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 1.29
8 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.49
9 Christian Vande Velde (USA) CSC 1.55
10 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 1.58

- The fourth stage of the Tour of Valencia also went into the mountains for a summit finish at the Alto del Campello. The final climb, as expected, caused a considerable reshuffling in the overall standings, but Comunitat Valenciana could not make their numerical advantage pay in the final couple of kilometres.

Having dropped race leader Alexandr Kolobnev, David Bernabeu and Julian Sanchez could not shake off Illes Balears' Toni Colom, and it was the latter who made the decisive jump with a kilometre to go to take the stage and the overall lead going into Saturday's final stage.

Stage 4, Alzira-Alto del Campello

1 Antonio Colom (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 161km in 4.10.16 (38.60kph)
2 David Bernabeu (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.11
3 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Kaiku 0.13
4 David Lopez (Spa) Euskaltel 0.15
5 Francisco Vila (Spa) Lampre
6 Thomas Lvkvist (Swe) Franaise des Jeux
7 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) 3 Molinos Resort
8 Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Spa) Andalucia-Paul Versan 0.22
9 Julian Sanchez (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel

17 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank 0.47

Overall

1 Antonio Colom (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 15.08.18
2 Serrano 0.13
3 Bernabeu 0.15
4 Kolobnev 0.16
5 Lopez 0.22
6 Vila 0.25
7 Lvkvist
8 Gonzalez
9 J. Sanchez 0.27
10 S. Sanchez 0.30

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