Los Angeles – Andrew Talansky won the fifth stage of the Tour of California, holding off race leader Rafal Majka at the end of a grueling climb to the finish just below the summit of Mt.Baldy on Thursday.
The 28-year-old from Florida, who rides for Cannondale-Drapac, delivered a perfectly timed late burst to edge Majka in a close sprint to the line at the end of the 125-kilometer (77- mile) stage from Ontario, California into the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Talansky, who is nicknamed the “Pit Bull,” won a chaotic finish after a small group of podium contenders broke away from the peloton on the final category climb.
“When we hit the final climb, I knew I felt good,” said Talansky, who finished fifth in last year’s Vuelta a Espana.”I decided to go for the stage win.
“I’ve never been at the front of this finish before.I knew there was that last corner and how I needed to take it. “I’d prefer to be in the yellow jersey right now but we won the stage today and I’ll enjoy that.Tomorrow we will focus on the time trial.” George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo) kept his hopes of winning the overall title alive by finishing third.
Polish champion Majka ceded four seconds to Talansky due to time bonuses, but he kept his overall race lead.