Fifth for Haig on stage three after another great ride at the Tour of Slovenia

Sat 18 Jun 2016

Australian Jack Haig gave everything on the stage three individual time trial at the Tour of Slovenia today, finishing in fifth place on the stage for ORICA-GreenEDGE and retaining second on the general classification.

Leading the point's classification, Haig was the second to last rider down the ramp on a difficult 16.8kilometre course that finished with a seven kilometre climb which topped out at over 16% in places.

The 22-year-old rode himself into the ground, posting a time of 29minutes 37 seconds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to beat race leader Rein Tarramae (Katusha) who finished one minute ahead of Haig to maintain the top spot overall going into tomorrow’s final stage.

Sport director Matt Wilson praised the ride from Haig and reiterated just how quickly the young Australian is rising to the challenges of stage racing.

“It was a fantastic ride again from Jack (Haig) today,” said Wilson. “It was a very tough course and Jack really gave it everything."

“Jack was a little disappointed at the finish, but there is no reason to be. He finished top five again and we are still in second overall with one more stage to go. That’s a great place to be for the team and for Jack.

“Our objective here was to win a stage, which we did on the first day,” continued Wilson. “The guy’s have surpassed themselves everyday so far and I am very proud of how they have performed.

“Tomorrow is a an undulating stage in the beginning and then flat until the finish, we won the final stage in 2013 and Jens Keukeleire was third that day. So tomorrow we will be looking to protect Jack and try to position Jens for the sprint.”

How it happened:

A beautiful sunny afternoon in Celje welcomed the teams for the stage three individual time trial, covering 16.8kilometres with a tough final ascent up to the line.

The best early time was set by Aleksander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), who completed the course in 29minutes 33seconds.

Asian time trial champion Cheung King Lok posted a time of 33minutes 22 seconds with Mitch Docker slightly quicker at 32minutes 21 seconds and Keukeleire ORICA-GreenEDGE’s second fastest at 31minutes 55seconds.

Foliforov’s time stood for two hours until Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) crossed the line in 28minutes 23seconds and moved into the hot seat.

Omar Fraile (Dimension-Data) equalled the time of Ulissi but was a fraction of a second slower and moved into virtual second place. Fraile was knocked out of second by race leader Tarramae, who was a few hundredths of a second slower than Ulissi who held out to take the stage win.

Haig rode valiantly and fought all the way to the line, eventually finishing fifth on the stage and holding onto second place on the general classification.

Tomorrow’s fourth and final stage covers 179.8kilometres from Rogaska Slatina to Novo Mesto. The route is lumpy and undulating in the beginning but then runs predominantly flat to the finish.

Tour of Slovenia stage three ITT results:

1. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) 00:28:23
2. Rein Tarramae (Katusha) ST
3. Omar Fraile (Dimension-Data) ST
5. Jack Haig (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:01:14  

General classification after stage three:

1. Rein Tarramae (Katusha) 10:42:43
2. Jack Haig (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:01:42
3. Jan Barta (Bora-Argon18) 00:02:38