Haig takes third on the final stage to move onto the podium overall at the Tour of UtahSun 12 Aug 2018
Australian Jack Haig climbed his way on to the podium at the Tour of Utah after taking third place on today's final stage in Park City.
After starting the day in fifth place overall with the podium in sight, Mitchelton-SCOTT and Haig worked to claw back seconds on the hard final stage to secure third place overall behind stage and overall winner Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Two in the break
In the opening 25km, Prueba Villafranca winner Rob Power and Kiwi Sam Bewley jumped into the day's main breakaway alongside 13 others and with good cohesion the group opened up an advantage of over three minutes.
The group led for the majority of the final stage, with the peloton only creeping close as they began the final climb of the day with 20km remaining.
To give Power the best head start as possible, Bewley set a hard tempo and led the breakaway into the bottom of the final tough 12km climb and the chasing peloton reduced significantly once the road went up.
With Bewley's job done, Power continued to set a hard pace at the front before Nate Brown (EF-Drapac) attacked and created a solo lead. The breakaway eventually shattered and behind, with 18km remaining Haig made a strong acceleration with only the race leader, Kuss able to follow.
Haig on a mission
Starting the day in fifth place overall and just ten seconds off third place, Haig moved into a virtual podium position on the road as the duo slowly swept up one-by.one the remaining breakaway riders.
Haig caught up to Power who made a big effort to help his teammate before more accelerations came on the steep slopes and with less than 10km Kuss attacked away and led the race solo, with Haig and Hugh Carthy (EF-Drapac) battling it out behind.
Haig crossed the line in third place, just eight seconds behind Kuss, which was enough catapult him into a podium position.
"It is really good to finish off on the podium, both on the stage and the GC, it finished off a really nice week with the team racing here in America.
"Everybody here did a good job and to have Sam and Rob in the break was ideal. Rob managed to help me quite a lot on the final climb through a few kilometres with some pacing after I attacked from the main group.
"I sort of planned and said to the guys I wanted to attack at the point that I did. Luckily everything worked out the way it did and I was able to come away with the result."
"Today’s main goal was to get Jack up on to the overall podium and we thought if we could have someone in the break then it would give us some options for the final climb.
"In the end myself and Rob both made the break which was a good situation for us. We had two guys up the road to help Jack if he came across on the climb and also we had Rob who could have a chance at the stage win if we had a big enough gap.
"I told Rob to look after himself and I would do most of the work in the break. In the end it worked well as Jack had some help especially from Rob in the latter part of the climb.
"Jack had a great ride and was able to move up to third overall so it is a nice way to finish the week for the team."
Tour of Utah stage 6 results:
1. Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) 3:09
2. Brent Brookwalter (BMC) +0:08
3. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:09
Final general classification:
1. Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) 21:41
2. Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) +2:09
3. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:22
Photos courtesy of Getty Images