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Hunter in surprise 10th

South Africa’s Robbie Hunter took 10th spot in the seventh stage of the Amgen Tour of California cycle race in the United States but Garmin-Transitions teammate David Zabriskie continued to slip down the overall standings.

Germany’s Tony Martin won the 33.6-kilometre time trial in Los Angeles, clocking 41min 41sec as HTC-Columbia teammate Michael Rogers placed second to cushion his overall lead.

Zabriskie still managed third spot, 27sec down (Rogers was 22sec back).

Hunter had his moment of glory as it was announced that the sprinter had come through with the new fastest time but judges were quick to correct their mistake. Still, for a non-specialist time trial rider it was good for third at the time but eventually fell back to 1:21 down.

The only other South African left in the tour, Darren Lill, was 54th in the trial, ending 4:21 behind the winner. Zabriskie is now nine seconds down on Rogers in the general classification.

Lill and Hunter are 1:00:57 and 1:05:12 back respectively, in 46th and 51st positions.

The final stage will be raced over four laps of a 33.6km circuit in Ventura and Los Angeles counties along twisty canyon roads that constantly undulate.

Zabriskie, who is familiar with the roads of the final stage, expects the battle to continue through to the end. “It’s not over ’til it’s over,” he told cyclingnews.com.”Tomorrow is a very hard course. Having surveyed the course it can be windy and there are a couple good climbs.”


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