Cycling: 74th Tour of Poland 2017 / Stage 6
Arrival / Jack HAIG (AUS)/ Celebration /
Wieliczka – Zakopane 864m (189km) / TDP / Tour de Pologne / © Tim De Waele

23-year-old Jack Haig took an impressive solo victory today for ORICA-SCOTT on a tough stage six at the Tour of Poland.

The Victorian rider attacked from a reduced front group inside the final 20kilometres and opened up a 50second advantage to claim his first professional victory and the second stage victory this week for ORICA-SCOTT.

The team’s general classification hopeful Adam Yates worked hard to cover the moves in small chasing group behind, eventually crossing the line in ninth place to move up to sixth place overall.

Haig was ecstatic to take the victory today in the WorldTour race on what was a tough and hilly stage.

“I’m super happy to get the win today after trying on stage three and coming relatively close, so to be able to try again and have good enough legs to stay away and pull of the win this time was quite special,” Haig explained. “I think to do it on a stage that was so hard and with so many good guys preparing for the Vuelta, it made it even more special.”

“It was also nice to show all the hard work that I’ve put in over the last couple of years and especially the past couple of weeks training in Andorra preparing for this and the Vuelta.

“Today showed I had good legs to be able to attack the way that I did, stay away to the finish and still have a bit of a gap. It’s a really good feeling.”

Sport director Dave McPartland was pleased the team was able to take their second victory of the week but also acknowledged the great teamwork and commitment from the riders during today’s stage.

“Today was a dream day for us, everything went perfectly and the whole team committed and worked together so well, so it is great to come away with this win,” said McPartland.

“Once we were on the final lap we tried to use our numbers as we still had four riders left in the reduced front group.

“Ruben Plaza started it off, followed by Rob Power and they set it all up well as the group reduced even more leaving Haig and Yates in the front.

“Once Jack had a gap, Yates did an awesome job behind covering all the moves, but Jack showed today he had the legs and the engine to finish it off.”

How it happened:

The sixth stage of the Tour of Poland began aggressively with multiple attacks but no riders were able to snap the elastic and break free early on.

It took over one hour for a breakaway to finally establish as three riders, Antwan Tolhoek (Lotto-Jumbo), Moreno Moser (Astana) and Adam Stachowiak (BDC Team) opened up a sizeable advantage.

The peloton settled into a rhythm and the leader’s were able to ride out to a maximum advantage of five and a half minutes. The second half of the stage featured tough first category climbs and the leaders time gap rapidly began to drop to just one minute with 50kilometres still remaining.

ORICA-SCOTT began to attack and split the race with Power successfully bridging across to the remaining solo leading rider.

As the race headed up the continuous short punchy climbs, the race came back together again but with the front bunch fragmented down to just 25riders including Haig and Yates.

With less than 20kilometres to go the group continued to reduce leaving just 14riders at the head of the race when Haig put the pressure on and was able to breakaway solo, quickly opening up a 45second advantage.

Being no real threat to the overall contenders, Haig was able to maintain his advantage as the kilometres ticked down with Yates waiting patiently behind, covering all the counter attacks.

Haig crossed the line 51seconds ahead of second place with Yates finishing ninth which moves him up two places overall with just one stage remaining tomorrow.

Tour of Poland stage six results:

1. Jack Haig (ORICA-SCOTT) 4:58:55
2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +0:51
3. Bob Jungles (Ettix-Quickstep) ST

General classification after stage six:

1. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) 23:41:27
2. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:06
3. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:10
6. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:19