George Bennett woke up Friday feeling downright miserable.
He was miserable physically after the fifth stage of the Tour of California that took riders on the arduous climb up Mount Baldy. He is one second behind Majka in the overall classification.
San Jose: Polish cyclist Rafal Majka won the second stage of the Tour of California cycling race on 15 May, 2017.
"I woke up and didn't feel that good". I think I just went out there - are you familiar with the expression twisting a nut. that's all I can think of about my performance. I put a lot of expectations on myself. "And then I just started riding and pushing, pushing, pushing".
"Franz the team guy who was on my radio doesn't normally get excited but at the half way he just lit up and I knew I was on a good time". Bennett responded by giving everything he had to the line.
Dibben clocked 28 minutes, 27 seconds on Friday, with Brent Bookwalter of BMC seven seconds further back.
Bennett started four minutes later and roared over the course in a time of 28:45 minutes, sending him into the lead with Majka the only rider left on the course.
Majka's disappointing time of 29:26 dropped him 35 seconds behind Bennett into second overall.
Along with George Bennett, Lachlan Morton and Ian Boswell, Majka chose to attack during the stage 2 of the race. "I had to let the pain come to me". I needed a lot of power today and that's not what I have.
Bennett, a 27-year-old New Zealander racing for Lotto NL-Jumbo, had the fourth-fastest time on the course and finished in 28 minutes, 45.74 seconds, averaging just more than 30 miles per hour.
The race concludes Saturday in downtown Pasadena following a 123km ride that begins at Mountain High ski hill in the San Bernardino mountains. There are a couple of climbs where Majka and other contenders will try to attack, but a long run-in to the finish should give the field ample time to come together and produce another sprint finish.
"Talansky", Bennett said without hesitation when asked before the race who he thought would take the overall lead. "No matter who I'm racing for, you have to respect them and pay them back".