One for Jens...


About 5 kilometers from the finish, on a slight rise in the road, a familiar face suddenly bolted along the right side and clear of his fifteen other breakaway comrades. In pure Voigtian style, with a show of strength and burst of speed, the man with the most age and experience in the race, kicked away from the rouleurs, the sprinters and their lead-out men, even the race favorites to prove he still has what it takes to play the game. Just in case anyone had any doubts. In his wake, the pure sprinters had to settle for best-of-the-rest placings - Farrar, Hushovd, Sagan, Matthews, in that order. Barely past the line, Jens Voigt moved to the left-side barriers to lean against them, just long enough for the sprint to blow through, and then he casually dismounted and slumped to the ground in visible exhaustion.

Afterwards Voigt said that he thought he was a little stronger than the others in the break, but knew he would not be able to out-sprint them. He said to himself, "now or never, now or never; everybody's hurting now." So it was that he took his chance right where he needed to go, at the finale of the fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California into Avila Beach, and built a gap that proved insurmountable for those left behind. Did he have to tell his legs to shut up, of do they just know by now?

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