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Day eyes top 10 performance in California

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
May 11, 2011, 17:09 BST,
Updated:
May 11, 2011, 18:11 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Race:
Amgen Tour of California
Ben Day (Kenda p/b Geargrinders) out of the saddle on the climb.

Ben Day (Kenda p/b Geargrinders) out of the saddle on the climb.

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Aussie still chasing European dream

There's an opportunity ahead for Kenda p/b Geargrinder's Australian general classification hope for the Amgen Tour of California, Ben Day.

"I'm a little bit angry," he told Cyclingnews from his base in Boulder. "I have a real passion for cycling and want to have the opportunities that I believe I deserve. Creating them is not always cut and dried – I just hope I can make it happen."

Day was one of the riders left stranded by the collapse of Pegasus late last year but as one of those genuinely positive people, he was only able to see the upside of the road ahead once he finally linked up with his US-based Continental team.

Waiting on phone calls and emails; chasing rides – it's not the ideal way to start the new season. Day describes the time as a "huge disruption."

"There was a period there when I didn't know what I was doing this year and it meant that I spent a lot more time sitting on the couch than I did going out training," he recalled. "Unfortunately that's the way my mentality works – I need to be focussed and driven to achieve my goals. All that uncertainty played badly upon that."

It was a bad time for Day with the six months prior being dogged by a bacterial infection. He was able to start turning things around by the time the National Championships came around in January, coming fourth in the time trial behind Cameron Meyer, Jack Bobridge and Michael Mathews.

"Coming back there, fourth honestly wasn't the result I was looking for – I was pretty disappointed with that – but in reality considering where I'd come from, I was just happy to be back and being competitive again. I'm somebody that's hard to please and I have lofty aspirations and I want to go out there and pursue them."

After so much down time, the result was that instead of being in hot form in the early part of the season as we was in 2010, Day instead finds himself coming into form now, in time for California.

Kenda p/b Geargrinder's team director Frankie Andreu and general manager Chad Thompson are both keen for Day to mount a challenge on the general classification, as he did in 2007 when he finished 8th. There's not a specific stage where Day is targeting a stage win, as he heads to the race with a relaxed approach but the 32-year-old feels that his best will come towards the back end of the week.

"It's a huge race and it gets a lot of recognition around the world and I'm going there with some high aspirations," Day said. "I'll do everything I can to achieve them; it gets down to the point where my legs do the talking, so we'll just have to wait and see."

Given his misfortune with Pegasus, you could forgive Day for steering clear of the GreenEdge project but instead, the three-time San Dimas Stage Race winner is not backwards in coming forwards saying he'd "love to" work with Shayne Bannan.

"I want to get back to Europe and be racing in those big races week in and week out and creating those opportunities," he enthused. "It's definitely a super-exciting prospect and I'm definitely going to do everything that I can to put my hand up and be considered for that."
 

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