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Ben Day (Fy V Australia) took the day's Amgen Breakaway from Cancer most Courageous Jersey.
Courageous ride part of stage win hunt
Ben Day (Fly V Australia) earned himself a place on the podium as the most courageous rider during day five of the Amgen Tour of California, and although he's pleased to wear the prestigious blue jersey, he won't be satisfied until his team wins a stage at the eight-day event.
"We are not satisfied," Day told Cyclingnews. "We are knocking on the door and we are so close; we've come here to win a stage. We don't consider ourselves a domestic team, we are an international team.
"Fly V Australia wants to be on the international stage and we want to be racing against all the best riders throughout the world and for us this is a natural progression to be here and to be successful. We want a little bit more and we will fight for a little bit more."
Day rode in an early five-man breakaway with Grischa Niermann (Rabobank Cycling Team), Kurt Hovelynck (Quick Step), Paul Mach (Bissell) and fellow Australians Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) and William Dickeson (Jelly Belly-Kenda).
"The reason I was sitting on the break today is because we really wanted to win a stage with one of our sprinters," explained Day. "We believe that our sprinters are shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the sprinters in the world who are here. We've seen our boys so close to taking a stage win already.
"We have some particular riders who are good in a finish like that," he continued. "With all the sprinters left behind on the climb on the mountain, we thought we had a good position for that, which was why I had to play the tactics that I did at the front of the race."
After more than 130km off the front, Day and Renshaw played a game of cat and mouse, each taking a turn attacking the break as they neared the finishing city of Visalia, both in pursuit of the stage win. Day was the last rider to make a strong run for the finish line and rode solo on the last lap of the finishing circuits.
"Coming across the finish line for the first time the crowds were absolutely amazing and I drew a lot of inspiration from that to get around the next lap," Day said.
"Fly V Australia was very diligent in reconning the course before we got the invitation to come here. We had such great ambition to be in this race. Unfortunately on this stage I decided to stop 30km early and didn't see the circuits. It was a bit harder than I thought it would be. I just kind of came up a little bit short with the peloton so close to us."
The peloton caught all the breakaway riders on the final lap and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) won the bunch sprint ahead of current race leader Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) and Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions).