Stage five of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California was won by Dave Zabriskie, an American Time Trial specialist who did what he does best. The American Time Trial Champion took the stage in 35:39, well ahead of race leader Peter Sagan's 39:26, so he'll assume the leader's jersey going for stage six. 40 year old Jens Voigt took second place for Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, and Team BMC's young rider Tejay Van Garderen took third place.
No one, not even Sagan himself, expected him to make it out of the stage with the overall lead. He's a strong sprinter, but not a tremendously well rounded rider. This was an opportunity for the GC heavyweights to set up for the mountain stages, which are coming over the next few days. Last year's champion Chris Horner didn't do so well in that regard, finishing 2:50 back from Zabriskie. If he wants to repeat as champion, he'll need to make some big attacks in the hills.
Provisional GC Standings after Stage 5:
1) Dave Zabriskie (GRM) - 20:29:31
2) Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - -:34
3) Robert Gesink (RAB) - :39
4) Andrew Talansky (GRM) - :48
5) Peter Velits (OPQ) - :49
6) Luke Durbridge (OGE) - 1:01
7) Tom Danielson (GRM) - 1:07
8) Rory Sutherland (UHC) - 1:10
9) Cameron Meyer (OGE) - 1:26
10) Markel Irizar (RNT) - 1:29
Stage six of the race is a run from Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, and anyone with their eyes on the overall victory has to be thinking that it's almost time to make their move.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Los Angeles for recaps, previews, and more from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. As always, check out Podium Cafe for quality insight and analysis.