Nathan Haas with big win in Australia's Jayco Herald Sun Tour
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nathan Haas with big win in Australia's Jayco Herald Sun Tour

by Bjorn Haake at 8:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
What's next for the 22-year-old youngster?

nathan haasFresh from winning the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Nathan Haas couldn't quite believe it. Calling it a dream, he had to pinch himself that he just won one of the biggest Australian stage races. His big goal used to be to become a very good mountain bike racer, but now he may see to realize his full potential on the road.

At only 22 years of age, he was put into the limelight in Melbourne and it felt different. "I always think athletes are very stereotypical when they win something and they say their speeches but today I really feel those emotions," Haas said. He loved the whole experience throughout the five-day race. "I can't quite believe the crowd and the atmosphere and just to be part of such an event like the Jayco Herald Sun Tour amongst these guys that I've looked up to for so many years. Firstly, to ride alongside them for one day and then to win the Tour, this is something I'm never going to forget in my life."

On Cycling Australia's website, his goals a few years ago were "to achieve the best of my potential on MTB. Become a journalist." He is studying philosophy at the university of Sydney to reach goal number two, but goal number one seems to be out of whack. His true potential may be on the road, but Haas has little time to think about his next steps. "Everything keeps moving forward and I really can't dictate my fate at the moment, it's just seems to be happening."

He starts dreaming of the big League. "A result like this pushes me closer to making it to the WorldTour but I am in no rush to be in any particular spot in my career right now."

His mountain bike career stuttered when in 2009 he won the KOM jersey at the Tour of Tasmania. A move to Genesys Wealth Adviser followed and he has shown his road potential since. In 2010 he was second in the Australian U23 road race Nationals and fourth in the time trial. He won a stage in the Tour of Tasmania and in 2011 went on to win the Tour of Mersey Valley and the Tour of Canberra.

The win in the Jayco Herald Tour came unexpected and he also credits his team for the win. "I really feel as if I've done something special here with the Genesys Wealth Adviser boys. We've been such a tight unit all year and I'm so proud of all of us," Haas said. "I really don't feel like a spectacular rider in our team. I feel as if we're a spectacular team and I feel honored to be part of it."

Haas also thanked his coach Andrew Christie-Johnson for the support. "Can someone nominate him for the coach of the year award?" Haas said. "He is not only a great team manager and coach, but a really good friend as well."

Christie-Johnson returned the compliment, predicting much bigger rewards for his charge in due course. "He's got stronger and stronger since he joined us after the Tour of Tasmania in 2009. He has been on a big learning curve and he is now showing the benefits," Christie-Johnson said. "I think he can be a great one-day rider as he has great all round skills. In a small bunch finish he can be very fast. Perhaps he can be the next Phillipe Gilbert."


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