The Jamis-Hagens Berman's Janier Acevedo might have lost the overall lead in the 2013 Tour of California, but with his stage win in Palm Springs, and three days in the leader's jersey he has given the Continental team morale, pride and opportunities for more big races ahead.
Acevedo's teammate Ben Jacques-Maynes was disappointed to see him lose the jersey on the stage to Avila Beach, which was anticipated to be a sprint stage until RadioShack and BMC guttered the peloton in the crosswinds, shattering the bunch into many small groups.
"I knew it was going to happen," Jacques-Maynes told Cyclingnews. "All you can do is hope to be in the right position when the hammer goes down. Most of the guys on the team were, but unfortunately Janier wasn't. So we had to go get him and leapfrog a couple of groups. That's bike racing. These [WorldTour] guys can lay down such horsepower. You know how things are going to go when an entire team comes over the top."
With just over 50km to go, RadioShack, looking to move Matthew Busche up in the overall standings, came to the front en masse and was followed by BMC, whose leader Tejay van Garderen started the day 12-seconds off the race lead.
"I think they anticipated each other. I watched it happen, and all we could do is hope that when things wash out it all comes out OK, but it didn't."
The team's performance this week must certainly have caught the attention of the organisers of the Tour of Utah, USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Tour of Alberta, the other three major North American races, and Jacques-Maynes hopes it helps their chances for more invitations.
"Wearing yellow was a great honor. We've done it proud, and it was a great treat for Team Jamis-Hagens Berman to be on this stage, racing against the best in the world. We've done everything we can so far this week and we have to be happy with our efforts.
"It helps for every race going forward. I think Sebastian Alexandre has shown his ability to put together a quality squad. Now we're rewarded for his hard work. Hopefully we can continue our run in the big races."
As one of only three riders to have started each edition of the Amgen Tour of California, and also being a native Californian, Jacques-Maynes was able to use his insider knowledge to help Acevedo ride into the overall race lead in this year's race, and expects to continue to put it to use.
"It's a special opportunity to use my local knowledge to help Janier. On the Tramway climb, I told him exactly where to attack. He hadn't seen the climb before, and he hasn't seen Diablo either. To impart some knowledge and show him where the important parts of the race are, it's to our advantage and benefit.
"I know every single road here. We've started in the same locations a handful of times, and every stage, every finish, I know. I've raced through there. Mt. Diablo, San Jose - I can ride to the time trial from my house. I ride those roads regularly. We've ridden into Santa Rosa how many dozen of times. We've had camps there. So I know every inch of the roads."
"Janier still has a fair chance to do really well on Mt. Diablo. He's proven he's one of the best climbers in the race, given a little recovery and the time trial, and we'll unleash him again."
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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.
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