Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan (Liquigas) won a mass sprint after a grueling 134-mile bike race over four climbs on Thursday.
The Stage 5 race from Seaside to Paso Robles had been rerouted off the scenic Route 101 along the Pacific Coast several weeks ago because highway crews were still trying to clear landsides that blocked the road.
With the abandonment of Stage 1, the stage on Thursday served as the hump day. Only 3 stages remain.
RadioShack's Chris Horner retained his lead on Thursday, sitting 1:15 ahead of teammate Levi Leipheimer.
That lead might be contested for Friday's individual time trial in Solvang. Leipheimer is known for his time trial abilities, although Horner has reminded that he's got time trial chops too.
Following Friday's time trial is the bike race to Mount Baldy on Saturday, and a race and closing circuits in Thousand Oaks on Sunday.
Jens Voigt left the race with a broken wrist, and Thor Hushovd abandoned on Thursday.
The Mountains Jersey is held by Jonathan Patrick McCarty, Team Spidertech. Sagan also leads in the points competition.