Leipheimer Dominates Crucial TT in California's Stage Six

James ThompsonCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2009

Race leader Levi Leipheimer (Astana) displayed his intentions on winning another edition of the Tour of California spectacularly today in Stage Six's pivotal time trial around the city of Solvang.

With the overall GC staying the same for the past three days of racing, Leipheimer used today to prove to all why this year's overall crown belongs to him. This is the third year in a row that he has won the all-important time trial stage.

Starting the day, Leipeheimer was threatened by two men in particular, Australian TT Champion Michael Rogers (Team Columbia), sitting 24 seconds behind Leipheimer in the overall, and US TT Champion David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) sitting 28 seconds back. 

As Leipeheimer started the day, it was clear that these men would have to put in a hard fight to take the overall lead away from him.

"I can't predict the future, but as long as I'm feeling the way I have been and ride the way I've been riding, it will be very difficult for him [Rogers]," said Leipheimer yesterday.

Leipheimer won the day by riding the course in 30 minutes, 39 seconds, around the 24-kilometer course, averaging 47 kilometers per hour, on a course that included a steep ascent up Ballard Canyon and many windswept roads. 

Zabriskie came in second on the day and conceded nine seconds. Olympic TT silver medallist Gustav Larsson (Saxobank) put in a strong ride to come in third, while Rogers conceded 23 seconds to Leipheimer to come in fourth.

Leipheimer consolidates his overall lead, now leading Zabriskie by 36 seconds and Rogers by 46 seconds. 

Lance Armstrong (Astana) put in a solid ride to come in 14th place, with a time of 31:56.