Updated: Saturday, 17 May 2014 08:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Wiggins keeps California lead as Chaves wins stage

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins retained the Tour of California overall lead as Colombia's Esteban Chaves won the sixth stage from Santa Clarita to Mountain High.

Wiggins keeps California lead as Chaves wins stage

Bradley Wiggins riding for Team Sky is kissed by flower girls after retaining his yellow jersey following stage six of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California from Santa Clarita to Mountain High on May 16, 2014 in Wrightwood, California - by Ezra Shaw

Wiggins, who took the lead with a triumph in the second stage individual time trial on Monday, finished fifth in the toughest stage of the race and extended his overall lead to 30 seconds going into the final two stages this weekend.

Orica rider Chavez powered solo to win the 152-kilometer stage that ended in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles in a time of 4 hours 9 minutes 13 seconds.

On a day when temperatures again soared into the upper 30s Celsius (near 100 Fahrenheit), the Colombian climber attacked from a small group in the last five kilometers of the final ascent, putting some room between himself and David de la Cruz of Spain and American Tom Danielson.

De la Cruz finished second, 13 seconds back, and Danielson was third, 41 seconds adrift.

Briton Adam Yates was fourth, 53 seconds back, with Wiggins fifth in the same time.

Most importantly, Wiggins held off his nearest rival in the overall classification, Australian Rohan Dennis. Garmin's Dennis finished seventh, 55 seconds off the lead to surrender two seconds to Wiggins overall.

The race continues Saturday with a 143-kilometer stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena and concludes on Sunday in Thousand Oaks, in rolling countryside west of Los Angeles.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn