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"This is my favorite week of racing all year and as always, our Ardennes team is sharp as a knife. It was cool to be given leadership and the support of the team in such a great race," Haas says

Photo: Garmin-Sharp

BRABANTSE PIJL

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CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM

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NATHAN HAAS

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16.04.2014 @ 21:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After some great performances, Nathan Haas was given a rare chance to lead Garmin-Sharp in a major race when he lined up at today's Brabantse Pijl semi-classic as team captain. The young Australian rode an aggressive race and paid back the confidence by taking an excellent sixth place.

 

Nathan Haas has had a slow start to his professional career but now things seem to start moving forward for the young Australian. He already showed signs of great progress when he finished 5th at the WorldTour level in his home race, the Tour Down Under, and since returning to Europe, he has kept the ball rolling.

 

He did so when he finished 2nd on a stage of the Criterium International and went on to take a top 15 overall in a race that should be too tough for him. He animated the GP Miguel Indurain and the queen stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe where he played a key role in teamate Ramunas Navardauskas' overall win.

 

Those performances earned him the chance to lead Garmin-Sharp in today's Brabantse Pijl and his team showed great confidence in him when Ben King led the peloton's chase for much of the day. Haas kicked into action on the finishin circuit when he made it into a strong group with Simon Gerrans and Philippe Gilbert but his race seemed to be over when that move was brought back.

 

However, Haas still had something in reserve and he ended the race by doing an excellent sprint to take 6th.

 

"This is my favorite week of racing all year and as always, our Ardennes team is sharp as a knife," he said. "It was cool to be given leadership and the support of the team in such a great race. 

 

"It’s always a difficult thing mentally  when you finish a race knowing that in a slightly different circumstance you could have won, but the good thing is that the form is there, the legs are there and the team was there and we were really strong all day, so that’s great. All said and done, I think I will put this race into the things I’m good at pile."

 

"I’m really happy about the race today because in the final, we were there," DS Gert Van Bondt said. "The whole team rode great. Haas was great all day.  Alex Howes attacked 3k from the finish which is very impressive — to be able to do that in a hard race.  Thomas [Dekker] and Dan [Martin] looked strong all day.

 

"Ben King didn’t feel 100 percent but wanted to be there to help the team, it shows a really good mentality to start without being 100 percent and work so hard for his teammates.

 

"We didn’t win but we were in every move all day and the team was strong. Most important is that we were there in the final, and racing like that is really good to see. We are happy with the result."

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