Haig with strong end of season ride to finish sixth at Il LombardiaSat 12 Oct 2019
Australian Jack Haig has finished the season with a strong ride at the final monument of the year, Il Lombardia, finishing in elite company for sixth place.
After a third place at Beghelli last week, Haig started the day as joint leader with Adam Yates and proved to have the best legs on the day, crossing the finish line in the second chase group, 34seconds down on winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
Strong break makes for fast tempo:
With 243km to travel, eight riders were allowed to ride out to a quick lead.
Despite the long day ahead, the danger of the group saw them carefully contained and their advantage was restricted to a maximum of less than six-minutes advantage, and hovered around four and a half minutes for the majority of the first 150km of racing.
Back together with 50km to race:
With a little over 50km remaining and on the steep slopes of the Colma di Sormano the bunch caught the final breakaway survivors and the race began in earnest.
Haig was in the front two groups over the top, and the elite selection grew in size on the descent, with Yates also regaining contact.
The final climbs continued to see the pace increase and shed riders, as Mollema attacked solo on the penultimate Civiglio and went solo.
Cat and mouse behind aided his lead and he held on to win ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Egan Bernal (Team Ineos). Haig finished in the second chase group behind Michael Wood (EF Education First).
“I was looking forward to this race and I wanted to finish the season well. I knew I had relatively good legs from Milano-Torino and Beghelli so to be able to put it together and be able to pull off a strong result is really good.
“At around 30-40km in I didn’t feel so good, but then after a while it disappeared and I was alright.
“I maybe made a mistake tactically in the last 1.5km when Fuglsang attacked and before that when Bernal and Valverde rode away on the descent a little bit. I should have been more aware of what was happening at the time and moved up, but it was good and I am happy with the result.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“It was a really good ride from Jack. He’s made a really good progression and to be in the company that he was in and battling it out essentially for the win, is a great way for him to finish off the season.
“He has showed some really consistent performances in the one-day program post Tour de France. I think he is really developing into a tough one-day performer, and we’re looking forward to him continuing that development next year, and in the Ardennes in particular.
“It was the usual suspects at the top there, all of those riders have had a result or showed consistency in the last 10 days of racing here in Italy.
“It was a really fast race because of the eight riders that escaped early. They couldn’t give them too much time so it was a constant pace all day and one of the fastest Lombardias you’ll see.
Il Lombardia – Results:
1. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 5:52:29
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:16
3. Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) +0:16
6. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:34
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.