The Amgen Tour of California saw its 4th bunch sprint in 5 stages and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) again showed his speed to take a hatrick of victories during the 5th stage. Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin) was 2nd with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) 3rd this time around.
As in the previous sprint stages, there was an early break which this time consisted of 5 riders. Hincapie Development where taking no chances in order to protect the GC leaders jersey and held the gap just under 3 minutes for the majority of the day. The only real challenge of the day came in the form of the weather as riders were greeted with breezy winds and consistent rainfall throughout the stage.
The sprinters teams would up the ante in the peloton in the final 50km and the break was caught with 9km to go. It was then down to a bunch sprint on wet greasy roads. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were riding in support of Matt Goss today and the Tasmanian gave the sprint a good crack, eventually crossing the line 8th on the day.
Today's stage was really fast and wet in the final. I had some good help from Matt B and Tyler in the last 5km. It made it through the last turn in an okay position but got caught out in the wind from about 400-500m to go which caused me to hesitate a bit before the sprint. I felt like I had the legs to do a bit better but it just didn't pan out that way. On the up side, the legs are feeling better and better each day and we will have another opportunity on Sunday.
Matt Goss - Rider