Today's stage resulted in several riders dropping out, including Oscar Freire, Kim Kirchen and Scott Nydam as they crashed on the hilly roads of the Sierra Nevada mountains. A three man breakaway of Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank), Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) and Serge Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team) that began before the first KOM worked together to hold the peloton back. The peloton roared through Clovis at better than 30 mph to catch the breakaway within a few short kilometers of the finish.
Cervelo jockeyed to position Thor Hushovd for a win when several sprinters rocketed through the bunched peloton, with Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish going neck and neck across the finish line for a photo finish.
UK track champion Mark Cavendish (Colubmia High Road) took the podium by inches today, with Tom Boonen beside him for second place. JJ Haedo took third place, followed by Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar. The GC top five stays unchanged, with Levi Leipheimer retaining the yellow jersey.