Andy Jacques-Maynes will be one of team Kenda/5-hour Energy’s top overall contenders at select stage races during the 2012 season. The Morgan Hill, California native signed a contract with the UCI Continental team after being let go from Bissell Pro Cycling in August.
"Bissell decided not to renew my contract," Jacques-Maynes told Cyclingnews. "I was pretty surprised considering I’ve had my best season to date. It was one of those business decisions and I tried not to take it personally, but I was left in the lurch and had to start search for something else after criterium nationals."
Jacques-Maynes has consistently been one of the most aggressive domestic road racers over the past two seasons under the Bissell Pro Cycling outfit. Some of his career highlights include podium places at the Sea Otter Classic, Cascade Cycling Classic and Merco Cycling Classic, along with numerous top ten performances on the domestic circuit. This year, he was a valuable lead-out man at the USA Pro Criterium Championships for his winning teammate Eric Young.
"They told me that they were not going to discuss next year until after criterium nationals," Jacques-Maynes said. "I had a good race there and was the first guy through the last corner, led out my teammate and he won, so I thought I did a good job there and then told me to go look somewhere else. I wish they could have told me that a couple of weeks beforehand."
Jacques-Maynes noted that Bissell Pro Cycling experienced several cut backs that may have been the deciding factor with regard to his position on the team. He hoped to race alongside twin brother and teammate, Ben, but under strenuous economic circumstances across the domestic road scene the pair were forced to part ways.
"I know that their budget got cut back," Jacques-Maynes said. "Ben was pretty bummed, for sure. It was up in the air whether he would be able to get back on Bissell either. We were trying to work it out so that we could get on the same team together. Bissell managed to put together an offer for him but they didn’t have the budget to include me as well. We were both bummed because we really enjoyed racing with each other."
Jacques-Maynes found a position as an overall classification contender with Kenda/5-hour Energy. The team recently announced signing ProTeam BMC Racing’s John Murphy along with Nate English from Yahoo! Cycling and Paul Mach, also from Bissell Pro Cycling. Returning riders include Shawn Milne and Chad Hartley along with Luca Damiani, Phil Gaimon, Isaac Howe, Pat Lemieux, Jim Stemper, Bobby Sweeting, Roman Kilun
"I talked to just about every team and Kenda really piqued my interest because the depth of the team has come up quite a bit," Jacques-Maynes said. "They had good success this year and it seemed liked it was a good place to keep growing. I’m happy to join that squad."
"I’m hired to be one of the GC guys," he said. "With the [National Racing Calendar] crit season and stage race season splitting, there will be a good crit squad with sprinters and then I will be a go-to guy for time trials and stage race overall classifications. I am happy to step into a GC role for Kenda."