Amgen Tour: Leipheimer leaps ahead

first_imgSOLVANG – Levi Leipheimer endured strong headwinds and expanded his lead Friday in the Amgen Tour of California with a dominating win in the fifth stage individual time trial. Leipheimer, an American on the Discovery Channel team, completed the windy 14.5-mile Solvang course in 29 minutes, 40.44 seconds for an average speed of 29.44mph. He was the last of 127 riders on the course. CSC rider Jens Voigt of Germany, who began the day 3 seconds behind Leipheimer in the overall standings, finished second 18 seconds back. Jason McCartney, also on the Discovery Channel team, was third in 30:05.14. Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, the reigning time trial world titlist, finished fourth for CSC in 30:17.91. Leipheimer, who has three top-10 finishes in the Tour de France and has won the Tour of Germany, leads Voigt by 21seconds with two stages of the eight-day race remaining. McCartney is third, trailing by 54 seconds. “I was taking some risks,” Leipheimer said. “At one point, I actually clipped a bush with my shoulder. Looking back, I was really going for it.” Steady headwinds on the first half of the course increased throughout the day, with later top-rated riders facing the most difficult conditions. But Leipheimer posted the fastest halfway time and then increased his pace during the second half of the course. Today’s 105.4-mile stage from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. The estimated time of arrival at the Valencia Town Center on McBean Parkway is just before 3 p.m. center_img The 639.2-mile race, which has daily coverage on Versus, concludes Sunday with the seventh stage circuit race in LongBeach. The winner earns $15,000, plus various daily stage and bonus money, from a total purse of $165,000 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img