Haas enthusiastic about Garmin-Cervélo contract, believes team will help him develop
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haas enthusiastic about Garmin-Cervélo contract, believes team will help him develop

by VeloNation Press at 8:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
GreenEdge chief Bannan had questioned if rider was ready for WorldTour

Nathan HaasConfirmed yesterday as heading to the Garmin-Cervélo team for 2012, Australian rider Nathan Haas has embraced the opportunity to make his UCI ProTeam debut with the team.

“Signing with Garmin-Cervélo is a dream come true,” the 22 year old said. “To even be considered as part of such an incredible outfit is humbling in itself, and I look forward to the next two years working under some of cycling' greats with a huge sense of enthusiasm and optimism.”

Haas highlighted his class recently when he was the surprise winner of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. He had targeted the best young rider classification prior to the race but ended up taking the overall, the points competition and being part of the best team award. That ensured him yellow, white, green and blue jerseys, a near-total domination.

Despite the win, GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan expressed reservations that he was ready to go from Australia’s National Road Series to the top level.

“'If we look at the Herald Sun Tour with guys like Haas and Van Hoff, it equates that they are talented young guys,” he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “The next step for those guys - as part of their progression - is to spend a period of time in Europe in European conditions. To say at this stage that a rider should come straight from the NRS to a World Tour team may be a little bit premature.”

However Garmin-Cervélo sees things differently, regarding his beating of its Australian champion Jack Bobridge in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and then former Giro d’Italia champion and multiple Giro di Lombardia victor Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) in winning last weekend’s Japan Cup as a sign that he is ready to move forward.

Haas says that he trusts their faith in him. “Simply put, I could not be happier to leave my development in Garmin-Cervélo’s hands.”

Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters is known as someone who has a good history of pinpointing and developing young riders. He is convinced that Haas has what it takes, describing him as an exceptional talent. “At such a young age, he is already is one of those unique riders who figures out a way to win, no matter what style or level of race he is competing in,” Vaughters said. “We think this is just the beginning for him, and we’re excited to see how he continues to develop as a rider.”

He credits the newly-appointed Director of Competition, Allan Peiper, as being a key element in bringing the rider on board. “Signing Haas is really a credit to Allan. He’s been a great addition in our rider recruitment process.”

One factor which bodes very well for Haas is that he has been studying along with racing his bike, doing socio-legal studies in Sydney University, and thus should be able to become even stronger as a full time pro athlete.

He originally targeted mountain bike riding when he started cycling but then two years ago started to focus more on the road when he took the King of the Mountains jersey in the Tour of Tasmania. He began racing for the Genesys Wealth Adviser team and had a successful 2010 season, winning a stage of the Tour of Tasmania and placing second in the national Under 23 championship road race. He was also fourth in the time trial.

Earlier this year he was best in the Tour of Mersey Valley and the Tour of Canberra, and finished second in the Oceania cycling championships.

His coach Andrew Christie-Johnson believes that he is moving to the ideal setup to aid his development. “Garmin-Cervélo is a perfect team for Nathan,” he stated. “They develop riders extremely well and I am sure that under the guidance of Jonathan Vaughters and Allan Pieper we will see Nathan flourish over the next few years. It is a perfect match.”

Next month he will head to the team presentation in Colorado. His Genesys Wealth Advisor team-mate Steele Van Hoff was confirmed yesterday as moving to Garmin-Cervélo’s development team, Chipotle-Sugar Labs.

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