Kiwi cyclist George Bennett gets another Tour of California podium to remain second overall

George Bennett has been a prominent figure on this year's Tour of California.
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George Bennett has been a prominent figure on this year's Tour of California.

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett remains second overall on the Tour of California despite being unable to prevail in another gruelling climb.

Andrew Talansky sprinted clear of overall leader Rafal Majka at the top of Mount Baldy to claim stage five of the event in style on Thursday (Friday NZ time).

The American rider for Team Cannondale kept driving the lead group, which included Bennett, up the 10 per cent grade and the hot pace dropped several other contenders on the way to the line.

Talansky and Polish rider Majka kept attacking but it was the former whose move ahead of the final left-hand corner stuck, before he threw his arms up in celebration as he crossed the finish line.

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A member of the Team Lotto NL-Jumbo squad, Bennett finished just two seconds back in third. The result meant Majka held a six-second lead over Bennett, with a further 19-seconds to third-placed American Ian Boswell.

It is the second time during the event that a gutsy effort from Bennett has come up just short.

Majka pipped Bennett on the line after the two broke away from the leading pack in the climb to the end of  stage two on Tuesday.

Stage six on Saturday is an individual time trial at Big Bear Lake, before the event wraps up with stage seven from Mountain High to Pasadena on Sunday.

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 - AP

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