Garmin-Cervélo’s Haas ambitious about Australian championships
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Garmin-Cervélo’s Haas ambitious about Australian championships

by VeloNation Press at 7:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
New signing determined to fight for the win

Nathan HaasHaving impressed greatly at the end of last season with his Japan Cup victory plus his overall win in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, 22 year old Nathan Haas has pledged to give his all to take the Australian road race title on Sunday.

The new Garmin-Cervélo signing acknowledges that the course and the lineup will make it a tough task, with he and team-mate Heinrich Haussler taking on teams such as GreenEdge, which is entering no less than sixteen riders into the race. However he remains determined to fight for a big result.

“I don’t start in races that I don’t think I have a chance of winning,” he explained. “I’m not going to Buninyong on Sunday to lick stamps.

“It will be a big feat for anybody to win this race. At this early stage of the year you can dive bomb or you can ride your heart out and maybe win. Heinrich and I will be there to have a bit of a go. I am excited to be given the opportunity to win a national championship, but it’s probably the hardest instalment of the national championships ever.”

Haas competed last year with the Genesys Wealth Advisers team and picked up victories in three National Road Series rounds, namely Gippsland, Geelong and Tasmania, and took the overall series. However it was his overall victory in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and his win in the Japan Cup which really reflected his potential and secured the interest of Garmin-Cervélo.

That team’s CEO Jonathan Vaughters said in October that Haas, “shows a very rare quality in a rider: He finds a way to win, no matter the terrain or the competition.”

The 22 year old will hope to do precisely that this Sunday.

Whatever happens in the road race, though, he knows that he will have many big opportunities in the year ahead. He’ll compete in many top events and said that it will help him get a much clearer picture of himself. “With Garmin-Cervelo this year, one of the big things will be to work out what type of rider I will develop into,” he said.

Grand Tours will also be on the agenda in the years ahead including, he hopes, the biggest event in the sport. “It would be pretty cool to do the 100th edition of the Tour de France in 2013, but just being a member of an international team like Garmin-Cervelo is an amazing thing.”

Haas prepared for the nationals by taking part in the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic races. He was fourth on day two and tenth today, but could well find the longer road race championship more to his liking. Sunday’s event is 163 kilometres in length.

Prior to that, the national championships begin tomorrow evening with the criterium races in Ballarat. Last year’s champion Jonathon Cantwell is returning, as is the 2011 women’s winner Lauren Kitchen and the Under 23 champion Ben Grenda.

The championships will then continue on Saturday and Sunday with the road races, then next week with the time trial events. The full programme is listed below.

Mars Cycling Australia national road race championships:

Thursday, 5 January (Sturt Street, Ballarat CBD)

- 5.00pm - Under 23 men's criterium - 33 kms (30 laps)
- 6.15pm - Elite & under 23 women's criterium - 33 kms (30 laps)
- 7.30pm - Elite men's criterium - 44kms (40 laps)

Friday, 6 January - Rest Day

Saturday, 7 January (Buninyong)

- 9.30am - Under 23 men's road race– 122.4 kms
- 1.30pm - Elite & Under 23 women's road race – 102 kms

Sunday, 8 January (Buninyong)

- Midday - Elite men's road race– 163.2 kms. SBS will screen a three-hour live telecast of the elite men’s road race, starting at 2pm (AEST) followed by Cycling Central live on location at the Championships.

Monday, 9 January - Rest Day

Tuesday, 10 January (Learmonth)

- 10.00am - Men's under 23 time trial– 28 kms
- Midday - Elite & Under 23 women's time trial – 28 kms
- 2.00pm - Elite men's time trial - 39 kms


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