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Amgen Tour of California: Stage 7

Chris Butler finished 78th on the day

Team HTC-Columbia’s Michael Rogers increased his lead in the overall classification at the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday by finishing second to his teammate Tony Martin in the time trial. Martin flew around the downtown Los Angeles course in a time of 41’41″ taking his first win of the season and confirming his place as a world class time trialer.

Rogers now leads the General Classification by nine seconds over David Zabriskie with one stage remaining.

“To beat Dave and Levi [Leipheimer] is a great ride for me and I’m really happy to be able to take the yellow jersey into the final stage,” said Rogers. “The race is definitely not over. The other teams will throw everything they’ve got at us tomorrow but I’m confident that our team can handle that. All the guys were really strong yesterday in the mountain stage so with Bernie [Eisel], [Bert] Grabschy, young Tejay [Van Garderen] and of course Tony we have a good chance Sunday.”

Martin was very happy to have the ride of his life after having a hard day working for Rogers in the mountains yesterday. “It has not been the best season for me so far because of a bad knee injury,” he said. “The spring was not so good. But now I am feeling good and I’m really happy to have had such a strong ride this week. Now I’m looking forward to the next big highlight, the Tour de France.”

The finale tomorrow is a challenging circuit race in the Malibu Hills of Los Angeles.

Southeast

George Hincapie (BMC): 35 on the stage; 18th GC
Chris Butler (BMC): 78th on the stage;   43rd GC
Davide Frattini (Team Type I): 80th on the stage; 64th GC

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