Haig climbs to second on the final stage of Criterium du Dauphiné as Yates is forced to abandonSun 16 Jun 2019
Today’s final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné saw Australian Jack Haig climb to second place after teammate Adam Yates was forced to abandon mid-way through the race due to stomach problems.
Haig attacked away from the breakaway on the penultimate climb of the day and led the final 16kilometres of the race alongside Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos), who sprinted ahead of the 25-year-old in the closing metres to steal the stage victory.
The breakaway of the day
At the start final short 113kilometre day, after 14kilometres of racing on the Côte de Rode, a group of 13riders broke away from the bunch with Haig making the move for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Tackling each of the seven-climbs, the group extended their lead to a maximum advantage of over four-minutes as the peloton led a steady chase behind.
Starting the stage just eight-seconds down on the race leader in second place, Yates was unfortunately forced to abandon the race inside 50kilometres to go, after suffering from a stomach issue during the stage.
The priority now is for the Brit to make a full recovery and continue his preparation ahead of the Tour de France.
Haig goes on the attack
On the penultimate climb of the day, a first-category climb the Cote des Rives, the attacks began to fly from the breakaway as their advantage dropped down to under two-minutes.
Choosing a good moment, Haig launched a counter attack and headed away from the group with just 16kilometres remaining.
Van Baarle quickly bridged across to the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider and shared the workload as the duo led the race up and over the summit, with two-chasers trailing by a 30second deficit and the peloton a further one-minute 50seconds behind.
Haig finished off the week for the team with a second place finish, after some great teamwork and commitment after Yates held the yellow race leader's jersey for two-days.
“The plan wasn’t necessarily for me to go in the breakaway but to get one of us guys in the breakaway if it was a decent size. It just happened to be quite hard at the beginning and I was in a good position, I saw the move going away and I jumped into it.
"The original goal was for me to try and stay there and try and help Yates move up the general classification but once I heard that he had pulled out, then I changed my focus to seeing if I could win the stage.
“I thought I should be there or there abouts, looking at the other guys in the break, but I knew there would be a few that would be quite hard to get rid of in the end. Van Baarle was super strong and unfortunately I couldn’t get rid of him.
“It is great to finish off the week with a good result, especially after the injury I have had since Paris-Nice, this gives me confidence going forward and towards the next goals.
“I think the week went super well, Adam was riding really well and the guys all worked together really great. It would have been really nice if Yates was there too finish off the great week but of course his health is more important and hopefully he will have a speedy recovery.”
Laurenzo Lapage - Sport Director
“Adam had problems with his stomach and there were no signs before the race but these things can happen.
“It is really good today for Jack for his confidence that he was there in the breakaway today. After Adam abandoned we had to change the plan a little but it just showed that Jack did great work on his period off after his injury and he is on his way back.
“With a young team, a mix of younger guys here and guys with experience, they all did really well. It was a good race for them to learn and see what it takes when you are protecting the jersey and I think the older guys were guiding the well and showing them how to do it for some days.
“I think we can be with the way the whole team committed this week for Adam and the way we raced.”
Critérium du Dauphiné - Stage 7 Results:
1. Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos) 3:05:48
2. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal) +0:50
Critérium du Dauphiné - Final General Classification:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 30:44:27
2. Tejay van Gardener (EF Education First) +0:20
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hanserohe) +0:21
27. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +21:11
Photos courtesy of Getty Images