In a new feature, the Cyclingnews team pick their rider of the day from the Tour of California. Adam de Vos is the fifth rider to be chosen, and we will be selecting a rider after each stage.
The team showed its faith in De Vos again in May, selecting him for what is the biggest race of the season for any US domestic team, choosing him ahead of more seasoned riders with lengthy palmares.
On Thursday, he paid back the faith Carney showed in the 22-year-old Canadian by making his way into an 18-rider strong breakaway that took a long time to form, then sneaking away into a trio of leaders that escaped on the long climb to Lake Tahoe. De Vos was beaten at the line by Cannondale's Toms Skujins after leading out the sprint in the shadow of the Heavenly Resort.
"I am grateful for the opportunity from the team," he said after the stage. "We have 15 strong riders, so to be one of the eight picked for this race is special. It is a really big deal to ride such a high-caliber race with a great field and great courses.
"In general, we have a few guys designated for getting into the breaks, and today I was one of the guys going for the breakaway," he said. "I was trying really hard yesterday but doing a couple things wrong. Guys like Danny (Pate) and Rob (Britton) talked me through a couple of pointers on how to make it easier on myself, and I had that in mind all day and it worked out.
"Throughout the day, [director Eric] Wohlberg was in the car and on the radio – that guy has won a million races, so it's great to have him in the earpiece."
For the rest of the week, de Vos will continue to play the team game in support of Rally's overall and mountains classification hopes.
"The rest of the race is about defending Rob's place on general classification and Evan Huffman's King of the Mountains jersey, and we are just going to continue to keep getting riders in the break. We have had a rider in the break each day already, and I think we are the only team that has done that. We are just going to keep doing what we have been doing."
Pat Malach Says:
"I first became aware of Adam when he emailed me and suggested I write a story about his signing with Rally. I looked at his results from 2015, and thought, 'Yeah, I probably should.' Confident and talented, de Vos is one of the many up-and-coming North American riders who give hope to fans that cycling on this continent has a strong future. I'll bet we'll see him in Europe soon, too."