Haig jumps up to fifth place overall after the first summit finish at the Tour de SuisseWed 13 Jun 2018
Australian Jack Haig climbed with a select front group to the summit finish of today's stage five at the Tour de Suisse, crossing the line in 12th place to highlight his general classification ambitions as the race headed in to the mountains.
A late attacker, Mikel Lander (Movistar), was caught by the small front group just 200metres from the finish line, Haig was amongst the group sprinting for the victory which was finally won by Diego Ulissi (UAE).
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider now sits in fifth place overall at 29seconds behind the new race leader Richie Porte (BMC).
Despite a first category climb after 15km of racing and multiple attacks no riders were given any freedom and the breakaway wasn’t able to form.
It took over 70km of racing before six riders headed off the front of the peloton and opened up a lead of over three minutes.
Changes at the front
As the rider began to climb to Montana village, the gap reduced to two minutes with the race leading team BMC heading the chase.
Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) jumped away from the group solo with 35km to go, but as the kilometres ticked down the gap reduced further and the other breakaway riders were caught. Lilian Calmejane (Direct-Energie) bridged across to Warbasse and directly pass to lead the race until seven kilometres to go.
Climb to the summit
With the race back together at the start of the final climb up to the finish line in Leukebad, the attacks came. Landa was the first GC contender to go on the attack, a move which looked promising, but finally his chances came to an end with just 200metres to go.
Ulissi took the stage victory in a sprint, with Haig crossing the line in 12th place to move up to fifth place overall with four tough stages to come.
"The stage today wasn't too bad, we were lucky and didn't have bad weather and escaped the rain which was nice. The boys did a really good job looking after me, making sure I was in a real good position going up the middle climb and I kept that position going into the bottom of the last climb."
"It was quite a strong head wind up the last climb which deterred quite a lot of attacking. In the wheels it wasn't too bad and then it just came down to the steep little pinch the last 400metres and everybody seemed to stay together.
"Today was the day that I felt best over the past few days, I will just take it day by day and see how I go. I sort of struggle with the accelerations but just seem to hang in there when it is going really hard.
"I am excited going into the next four days, tomorrow is a hard steep finishing climb and one more mountain day to get through before there should be one more sprint stage before the last ITT.
"The team is doing a really good job, and everybody is doing there bit to put me in a good position and look after me."
Tour de Suisse stage 5 results:
1. Diego Ulissi (UAE) 3:37
2. Enric Nicolau (Quickstep-Floors) ST
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Team Dimension-Data) ST
12. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 5:
1. Richie Porte (BMC) 17:03
2. Wilko Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:20
3. Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) +0:20
5. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:29
Photo courtesy of Getty Images