Despite losing the King of the Mountains jersey he had held since stage 1, Spidertech powered by C10 rider David Boily said Tuesday that he is ready to fight for the polka dot top when the race resumes with Wednesday's stage 4, a 209 kilometre test from Sonora to Clovis that contains six KOMs.
"Today is the war," said the 22-year-old Canadian. "The big days are coming up, especially tomorrow is a big day for the KOM jersey. I'm pretty confident and the form is good."
The team's decision to keep Boily out of the breakaways on Tuesday's stage 3 backfired when Optum Pro Cycling's Sebastian Salas, who started the day second in the mountains competition, set out with a group of four riders about 5k into the stage and gobbled up maximum points on two of the day's three KOMs. Salas snagged the jersey from Boily by just four points, setting up Wednesday's showdown.
"It was a strategic move to keep David out of the break," said Spidertech team director Steve Bauer. "Unfortunately it didn't work out with Salas getting in there. We wanted to keep David fresh for the big stage on Wednesday; I think there are six or seven KOMs, so it is going to be a big day, and David is keen for the battle."
Bauer said the KOM jersey is the team's main goal, and the entire squad will be riding to put it back on Boily's shoulders.
"Just like last year, we came out with a goal to go for the KOM jersey, and we focused a few riders on it," Bauer said. "David came out on stage 1 and came through with flying colors. Each stage is a little different, so we have to strategize and try to keep him near the front. But he's focused on it, and so is the rest of the team."
Although Boily and Spidertech are currently aiming for the Tour of California jersey, Bauer said the team has more long-term plans for the rider.
"He's still young, and he's got the maturity to get stronger and still build his horsepower of the years," Bauer said. "But certainly he's a talented guy for the future, and we're excited to have him on our team."
Boily, who finished second last year at the Tour de l'Avenir, is also targeting this year's U23 world championships in September.
"The worlds is a good course for me," he said. "So I am looking forward to it. It's a little bit far from now, but definitely looking forward."
But for now, Boily is excited to keep testing himself against some of the best riders in the world at the California tour.
"It's very good to be an under 23 and be able to see where your form is at and what level you are at," he said "So yeah, I'm very excited, that's for sure."