BMC Racing Team's Peter Stetina finished sixth on Friday's summit finish at Mountain High Ski Resort to remain sixth overall with two days of the Amgen Tour of California to go. Stetina could not shake overall leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) despite a number of surges and a strong tempo set by teammates in the final 10 kilometers of the 156.1-km stage.
The two about a minute after Johan Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) took the win by soloing out of an original breakaway of six. It marked the third straight day that an escape group survived to the finish.
"Pretty early on in the climb, we realized that Team Sky wanted to let the break stay away," Stetina said. "So I made the call and told Michael Schär and Amaël Moinard to get moving up there. Even if we don't make the podium, we can hunt for the stage win. So they put in some awesome rides, which kind of motivated me to suffer, even though it was high altitude."
Stetina said he gave it his all to try to drop Wiggins – and others – to move up the overall standings.
"Joe Dombrowksi of Sky put in a pretty killer dig that kind of left everybody a little torched," Stetina said. "I tried to move after that, when Wiggins started to yell at Dombrowski to slow down. But everyone was able to cover it."
Schär, the Swiss national road champion, said he was up to the task of leading the pursuit.
"I felt very good and Pete and I started talking and realized Sky didn't want to close the gap," he said. "We were trying to go for the stage win. So I started to make tempo, but it was not so easy to come back to this guy (Chaves).
Moinard said the terrain and conditions did not play into their favor, either.
"It was not that steep," he said. "Pete told me this morning that after it flattened around the lake at five kilometers to go to keep pushing and go really hard. But with the headwind it was really hard. With the wind, in a headwind, it is easier to stay in the wheels."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said he was pleased with the work done to set up Stetina.
"Everybody did their job and Pete gave what he gave," Sciandri said. "When a guy gives everything – for me it's fantastic, with no regrets. He tried and the team was around him."
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