It's been a hard year for Ben Jacques-Maynes of Bissell, but one year on from a crash at the Amgen Tour of California that left him with a simple
broken collarbone that turned into a month ordeal, he was back in the race and on the attack, claiming the most aggressive rider's jersey at
the end of the opening stage in Santa Rosa.
Fractured clavicles are the most common injury for bike racers, but Jacques-Maynes's break last year was complicated first by a serious bone
infection and then took extra measures to get it to heal properly. But now after a big push to regain his previous fitness in time for the Tour
and 179 kilometres in the breakaway, Jacques-Maynes which carry the most aggressive rider's jersey when the race visits his home training grounds in the Santa Cruz mountains tomorrow.
"It feels really good to start off the race this way," he told Cyclingnews. "My Bissell teammate backed me up, I had Andrew Dahlheim in the break with me and the team was spectacular. We made sure we were represented and to get the jersey out of it was spectacular."
In addition to his medical issues, while he was away racing earlier this month his house was broken into and several electronic items stolen.
"Life happens, we just try to persevere through the hard times. I had a lot of knocks in the last year. We gotta jump this hurdle in the Tour of
California, and move on. It was a great first day."
The team had a special edge since their team's base is in Santa Rosa, and their training camp was held here after the route was announced. "We did the entire loop in camp in February, and I knew every inch of the road. I was pretty comfortable the whole day. I was surprised we had
such a gap, up to 11 minutes, but I was feeling good all the way through so I felt it was a good time to attack and try to ride it to the finish. No luck, but I got something out of it."