Levi Leipheimer in Solvang - Photo courtesy Ken Conley
The weather for Stage 5 in the Amgen Tour of California was a big improvement over yesterday, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50s. Some of the cyclists encountered light sprinkles of rain, and the wet roads -- including a flooded section -- added to the challenge of taking some of the turns, and many of the riders struggled with the strong crosswinds.
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) came in strong in the individual time trial today, coming in 29 seconds ahead of sprinting champion David Millar (Slipstream Chipotle) and extending his overall GC lead. Slipstream's Christian Vandevelde rounded out the podium at 31:31. Two other possible contenders for the yellow jersey, Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and David Zabriskie (Slipstream) came in fifth and sixth today on the Solvang time trial.
In spite of yesterday's brutal weather and less than ideal conditions today, Levi did fairly well coming in at 30.47, just over a minute over his time last year.
David also got a Stage 4 report out for the FredCast while recovering from surgery!
My wife knows some of Jackson Stewart's family. Stewart is on the mend but they have requested prayer for him. As you know, Jackson Stewart was hospitalized yesterday for hypothermia during the cold and wet race down the Central Coast in Stage 4.
The Tour of California starts in Santa Barbara on Saturday and will travel to Santa Barbara for Stage 6.