Slovakian Peter Sagan swung wide right in the final 100 yards and sped from fifth place to win the
fifth stage of the Tour of California.
Chris Horner remained the overall race leader Thursday.
Sagan, of the Liquiqas-Cannondale team, claimed two consecutive stages in last year's event. He won the 135.1-mile Seaside to Paso Robles road race in 5 hours, 16 minutes, 3 seconds.
Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) of Australia was second, and Ben Swift (Sky) of Britain, the opening stage winner, finished third, both in the same time as Sagan.
Horner (RadioShack), who took the race lead Wednesday with a solo uphill win, finished 11th in the main field and maintained his 1-minute, 15-second lead over teammate and fellow American Levi Leipheimer.
Also Thursday a former teammate of Lance Armstrong has told CBS News that he used performance-enhancing drugs with the seven-time Tour de France winner to cheat in cycling races, including the tour.
Tyler Hamilton says Armstrong took a blood-booster called EPO in the 1999 Tour and before the race in 2000 and 2001. Armstrong won the race every year from 1999-2005.
Armstrong has steadfastly denied doping and has never failed a drug test.
Federal investigators are probing whether Armstrong and his former U.S. Postal team engaged in a systematic doping program, which he denies.