Stage five of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California was an Individual Time Trial through Bakersfield, and David Zabriskie did what he did best and won with ease. The Garmin-Barracuda rider is the American Time Trial Champion and has long specialized in the discipline, and he put in a strong effort today. No one expected race leader Peter Sagan to hold on to the leader's jersey through the stage, with even Sagan himself admitting what was coming. Sagan finished in 39:26, good for 52nd place.
Zabriskie now takes the yellow leader's jersey, and all of the GC contenders moved up the standings. Santa Rosa's Team BMC had their best result of the tour so far, as Tejay Van Garderen finished 34 seconds back from Zabriskie, good for third place in the stage and good position in the GC. 40 year old Jens Voigt took second place for Team Radioshack-Nissan-Trek.
The race now heads to the mountains, including a classic mountaintop finish on Mt. Baldy. Last year's champion Chris Horner (Radioshack) had a rough day, conceding almost three minutes to the now-leading Zabriskie. He'll need a big attack on those mountains if he hopes to repeat as champion.
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 heads from Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, and the heavyweights are just about at their last chance to make a move.