Australian Jack Haig to lead Mitchelton-SCOTT's overall ambitions at the Tour de SuisseWed 6 Jun 2018
Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig will be Mitchelton-SCOTT's main general classification hopeful at the nine-day Tour de Suisse.
After recent strong performances at the Giro d'Italia, helping Simon Yates defending the pink jersey, Haig has been given the opportunity to ride for the overall himself next week in Switzerland.
With many riders in good form coming from a big block of racing, the Mitchetlon-SCOTT line-up has strength and depth to tackle the Suisse mountains. Local rider Michael Albasini is a key part of the team line-up, having bounced back from a tough start to the season to recently win the Tour Des Fjords.
The nine-day race kicks off with a team time trial followed by seven hard, hilly road stages before finishing with an individual time trial.
The fifth stage looks to be the first real test for the GC riders with a Hors category climb followed by a first category climb to the summit finish in Leukerbad. The seventh stage is also another tough summit finish, which leaves the overall potentially still open until the back end of the race.
With the Tour de France coming one week later than usual on the calendar, it is expected that many riders will use the Tour de Suisse as their preparation race building up to the month of July, meaning the field should be an even higher level than previous editions.
"It is exciting to be given my first proper GC leadership role within the team and to have the team that we have going into the race to help me and riders like Albasini, is really great.
"I am quite excited going into Tour of Suisse to see how my condition and form is after the Giro. I think it is quite a difficult one to judge and manage, I think nobody really knows the grand formula of what is best to do after a grand tour, especially a grand tour as hard as the Giro this year. Hopefully I have done everything right and when it comes to the race I can perform well.
"We have a really strong team, Albasini always seems to take stage wins and loves racing in Switzerland and he has shown some great form now coming from his performances in Norway.
"I've always done Criterium du Dauphine instead of Tour du Suisse so this will be my first time racing it and I'm really looking forward to it."
Head sport director Matt White
"The next opportunity for Jack comes at the Tour de Suisse, where he'll be a leader. That's been penciled in since the winter but it's about a process for him, and learning more about what it's like to be a protected rider and being consistent.
"He was leading the team at Pais Vasco, and he was holding down a good place, but then he had one bad day in the bad weather and lost time. Suisse will be his first chance where he goes in as our leader on GC for that race."
"Jack is getting better and better. He's certainly stepped it up another level in terms of reliability and that's really pleasing for us, and for him.
Previously in Tour de Suisse
In the team's first season, Local Swiss rider Albasini sprinted to victory on the penultimate stage. The teams best overall finish was Cameron Meyer with 10th place back in 2013.
Sat, 9th June: Frauenfeld - Frauenfeld, TTT 18.3km
Sun, 10th June: Circuit Frauenfeld - Frauenfeld, 155km
Mon, 11th June: Oberstammheim - Gansingen, 182.8km
Tue, 12th June: Gansingen - Gstaad, 189.2km
Wed, 13th June: Gstaad - Leukerbad, 126.4km
Thurs, 14th June: Fiesch - Gommiswald, 186km
Fri, 15th June: Eschenbach / Atzmännig - Arosa, 170km
Sat, 16th June: Circuit Bellinzona - Bellinzona, 123.8km
Sun, 17th June: Bellinzona - Bellinzona, ITT 34.1km
Photos courtesy of Getty Images