Haig climbs to eighth place on the first GC day at the Tour of Utah

Wed 8 Aug 2018

Australian climber Jack Haig climbed to eighth place today on the second road stage at the Tour of Utah and moves up to ninth place overall on the first real classification stage.

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider made it into a select chase group alongside 11 other riders on the only climb of the day, before going on to finish the stage on the same time as his main general classification rivals, all 30seconds behind the solo stage winner Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Six rider break

On the fairly short 142km day, six riders formed the first main breakaway and once again the race leading team BMC controlled the peloton and the distance to the group, allowing them just over a four minute advantage.

Action on the KOM

By the time the riders started the only king of the mountain prime, a lengthy first category climb Mount Nebo after 80km of racing, the six leading riders began to split up and behind the peloton also fragmented. 

Eventually the leaders were swallowed up and 12 riders, including the race leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC), lifted the tempo and edged away from the peloton with Haig present and in contention for Mitchelton-SCOTT. 

One goes solo

As the road went up one rider, Kuss, attacked away and led the race solo over the top of the climb with 50km to go.

Holding his distance down the descent and along the flat towards the finish, Kuss maintained around a one minute advantage over the 12 chasers until 10km to go. 

The pace lifted coming into the final as Haig remained with the chasing group, however it wasn't enough for the victory as Kuss successfully held on to take a well earned solo stage win after riding 50km solo.

Haig now sits in ninth place overall, 40seconds down on the new race leader Kuss.

Jack Haig

"Today was again another hot day, the breakaway went but took a while to get away. On the only climb, they raced a little bit differently, from almost the bottom of the climb the WorldTour teams set a really really high tempo and after just five minutes of climbing there was a massive selection already made. 

"That caught us off guard a little bit but we were placed well with myself and Rob Power in a good position at the boom and I just managed to ride a conservative climb. I think it could be lost today but if you stay within touching distance of the GC then you can always get there on the final two days which will be really hard.

"I am happy with the form, now we just need to try and get through the next stages without any problems and maybe take some opportunities with the other guys before looking forward to the final two stages."

Tour of Utah stage 2 results:

1. Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) 3:25:57
2. Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:29
3. Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling) +0:30
8. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:32

General classification after stage 2:

1. Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) 7:49
2. Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:21
3. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) 0:25
9. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:40

Photo courtesy of Getty Images