Feature: Haig and his first professional victoryThu 24 Aug 2017
Australian climber Jack Haig recently took a huge step up in his cycling career claiming his first professional victory at the WorldTour race, the Tour of Poland.
Having made his way through the ranks, starting with Australian under-23 program, Haig produced many strong performances such as second place overall at the 2015 Tour de l’Avenir, along with winning the best young rider at Australia’s WorldTour race, the Tour Down Under and has continued to progress at a rapid rate.
After countless training hours in preparation for the 2017 edition of La Vuelta, the 23-year-old Australian reaped the rewards with his performance in Poland which cemented his potential climbing pedigree displayed at under-23 level.
“It’s been great to see my progression coming from under-23, racing the one-day Italian races with the national team, to then be able to join ORICA-SCOTT and continue my development further into the rider I thought could become,” Haig explained. “You never really know if it is possible until you get a result or have a really good performance and so winning my first race really helped me to believe.”
Satisfied with achieving his first professional win in his second season at WorldTour level, Haig puts it down to consistent hard work and determination.
“I live in Andorra full time now, so after my last race block I spent all my time there training really hard on the various climbs there before the Tour of Poland,” continued Haig.
“I think my performances in Poland were a result of an accumulation of a lot of consistent hard work and maybe I started to figure out a few smaller things like being happy and more settled at home, and feeling more comfortable inside the team. Everything just seemed to come together and click.”
After leading the race solo in the final kilometres of stage three, Haig was caught just one kilometre from the finish line, which gave him extra hunger and motivation for the coming stages and he certainly delivered with a solo stage victory on stage six.
“I was a bit disappointed not to stay away on the third stage but I was also really happy because then I knew I had the legs try and do something later in the race,” Haig said. “Of course it is annoying to be caught so close to the finish but it was great to actually have the opportunity to try and attack and then have the legs to stay away right until the final moments.”
“It was super cool to follow up with a stage win and the way I did, solo, and on that finish with so many people there. I remember on the same stage the year before I really, really suffered and I was in the groupetto and finished far down, so to win this year was nice.”
“In general I was really happy with the whole of the Tour of Poland, I think I progressed throughout the race and I was still up there on the final stage with all the top climbers, and take more time to also finish top 10 on the general classification. It has given me a lot of confidence coming into the La Vuelta and for my future as a pro cyclist.
“It is only my second season as a professional with ORICA-SCOTT and I am super happy and grateful to be in a team like this that has helped me to develop this quickly and given me the opportunity to take my first win.”
We wish Jack the best of luck as he currently races the La Vuelta.
Photos courtesy of TDWsport