Haig makes it into the race winning move for third place in Bretagne Classic Ouest-FranceSun 1 Sep 2019
Australian Jack Haig rode himself onto the podium today in a hard edition of the Bretagne Classic Ouest-France, making it into the race winning move with two other riders.
The trio held enough of a gap coming into the final kilometre and started to looking around at each other before launching attacks. Vanmarcke picked a good moment and accelerated away from the other two to take the race victory, with Haig claiming a respectable third place after a very active performance throughout the day.
Four escape early
In the opening stages of the lengthy 234kilometre race, four-riders decided to launch away from the bunch and quickly opened up a maximum advantage of ten-minutes.
The kilometres slowly ticked down and the gap to the quartet slowly began to drop, with them hovering around three-minutes as they hit the 100kilometres to go mark.
Gravel causes splits
The day was over for the breakaway with 75kilometres remaining ahead of a narrow and twisty gravel road section. The strung out peloton quickly split, with Mitchelton-SCOTT well represented at the front with both Haig and Jack Bauer at the front as Simon Clarke (EF Education First) lifted the pace.
Once the dust settled and the road smoothed out, it was clear to see the front of the race had shrivelled in size. Rob Stannard was able to make it back to the front group as it swelled to about 30riders, giving the team extra numbers to play with.
Haig makes the move
Before the Cote de Marta with 26kilometres to go, Matteo Trentin also successfully made it back across to the leading group just before Haig went on the attack once again as the road went up. The Australian was able to open up a gap alongside Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) and Ties Benoot (Lotto-Soudal).
The chasing group slowed and the leading trio extended their lead to 50seconds coming into the finish, ready to battle it out for the victory. Vanmarcke was able to get the jump on the Haig and Benoot to claim the race victory with Haig sprinting to third place.
“I had quite good legs today and it is the type of racing I enjoy, you really need to be in good position all day, really fighting up there and if you can be aggressive it can lead to better racing. The parcours are not for sitting back and waiting. On these small narrow roads you need to be attacking and up the front which is what I like todo.
“The plan was for the guys like myself and Lucas Hamilton, the guys who don’t have the best sprint to be aggressive. Unfortunately Matteo had a puncture on one of the gravel sections, otherwise he would have been there for the sprint.
“The final was a bit tricky, it was nice to have just three of us in the breakaway as then we worked well together, all knowing we would be on the podium. Unfortunately in the last kilometre I got stuck on the front with Benoot on my wheel and then Vanmarcke was away but all in all I can be happy with the outcome."
Mathew Hayman - Sport Director
“It was a great ride by Jack, he gave it everything and of course he was going for the win but he was with two guys out there who have won quite a lot of races so hats off to him. Today we were going to give everybody an opportunity and he grabbed hold of that.
“We wanted to have as many guys in the front so we had numbers. IT was a shame that Matteo had a puncture on the first section of the two gravel sections so it was a massive effort that he even got back to the front of the race.
“Across the board it was really strong rides from everybody, Rob and Jack were also at the front and we were able to put Haig in the move and he was able to come away with a great results. It was a very promising day for everybody and I’m really proud of how the boys committed as a team.”
Bretagne Classic Ouest France Results:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) 6:12:23
2. Ties Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) +0:03
3. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Getty Images