Strong performance by Haig to take ninth in Emilia

Sat 30 Sep 2017

Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig climbed strongly with the favourites in today’s 100th Giro dell’Emilia to take ninth place for ORICA-SCOTT after untimely crashes forced out both Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves.

The long and challenging race sprang to life on the testing finishing circuits around San Luca with the early breakaway finally being caught with two laps left to race.

A strong favourites group formed over the final 20kilometres with ORICA-SCOTT well represented before first Yates fell on a sharp descent and had to abandon after rapidly losing time as the race sped on ahead.

The 25-year-old Briton was fortunately not injured, but the bad luck continued for the Australian outfit as last years winner Chaves mounted a chase behind a late attack by Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and crashed heavily coming out of a corner at speed on the descent from San Luca.

The race continued and Haig held his own in the reduced chasing group behind Visconti, despite the pursuit Vsiconti stayed away to take the race win with Haig running an impressive ninth.

News on Chaves will follow, considering the impact the early signs are good with the Colombian being taken to hospital for X-rays.

“The race was going really well for us up until the last couple of circuits,” said sport director Dave McPartland. “We had good numbers within the favourites group and it’s unfortunate that we lost our two leaders, Adam and Esteban to crashes, it is bad luck, but also a part of cycling.”

“All of the guys had ridden a controlled race and we knew that it would intensify once the break had been brought back going into the first ascents of the San Luca climb. Jack did a great job and showed that he is in strong form at the moment. His focus did not waver and finishing in the top ten against that field is a very good result for a young rider.

“Often this race works very well as a gauge for a riders form ahead of the last monument of the season, the Giro di Lombardia and it’s great to see that Jack is not only in great physical shape, but that he is also well motivated.

"At the end of a long season it can be quite difficult to assess a riders form and motivation, but after strong performances at both the Vuelta a Espana and the World Championships Jack showed today that he is not lacking in either department and he deserved his excellent result.”

How it happened:

An early breakaway of seven riders formed directly after the flag drop and quickly started to develop an advantage. After 45kilometres of racing the group held eight minutes over the peloton.

Approaching the halfway point and the leading group had grown to nine riders and the peloton had upped the pace of their pursuit with three minutes separating the field with 120kilometres to go.

The tough, undulating parcours traditionally favours the pure climbers and with repeated ascents of the steep San Luca climb making up the finishing circuits the peloton started go seriously reel in the leading group with 45kilometres left to race.

Attacks started to spring as the race crossed the finish line for the first time and the peloton reduced heavily as the breakaway split in half with Team-Sky setting a strong pace.

The break was finally neutralised with two laps remaining as Visconti instantly launched a fresh solo attack and quickly gained 20seconds on the chasing group.

Chaves and Haig were part of the favourites group in pursuit of Visconti with less than 10kilometres remaining, as Chaves tried to pick up the pace on the descent from San Luca he skidded out of the corner, crashing heavily and out of the race.

Haig continued as part of the chasing group, but Visconti held his advantage over the final climb to take the race win.

Giro dell’Emilia results:

1. Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) 05:31:22

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +0:11

3. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) +0:14

9. Jack Haig (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:31

Photos courtesy of ©