The 2011 Amgen Tour of California reaches a pivotal stage for race leader Chris Horner. Stage 6 consists of a 15 mile time trial starting and ending in Solvang, California. The route features some moderate climbing, but nothing too taxing. The time trial is scheduled to start at 12:30pm pacific with the final trials wrapping up by approximately 3:40pm. You can view a map of the scheduled route in THIS PDF at the tour website.
Solvang returns as a stage host after missing out in 2010. The route highlights the Santa Ynez Valley, as it winds through small towns, vineyards, farms, and a brief but steep climb up Ballard Canyon. Given the lack off too much climbing, race leaders will need to pick up some serious speed if they want to maintain their positions. Chris Horner currently holds the overall lead and will be looking to pad his 1:15 lead on teammate Levi Leipheimer. It's interesting to note that Leipheimer dominated the 15-mile time trial when it was held in Solvang in 2007, 2008 and 2009.