Jack Haig defies odds to continue Grand Tour purple patch for Australian cyclists | Kieran Pender

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Kieran Pender

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The prospect of success at the Vuelta a España was distant after a Tour de France crash, some down-time and riding for a teammate

In 2013, Australian cyclist Jack Haig – then just a teenager – won his first-ever overall victory, at the Tour of Tasmania. On Sunday, half a world away in northern Spain, the Victorian secured the best result of his career, finishing on the podium at the Vuelta a España. It may have taken Haig eight years to repeat his Tasmanian heroics on the Grand Tour stage, but there were more than a few parallels.

Growing up in country Victoria, Haig showed prodigious talent on the mountain bike – including winning a junior national title (Cadel Evans, the only Australian to win a Grand Tour, also began his career off-road). But at the urging of Huon–Genesys, the Andrew Christie-Johnston-led domestic team that has helped launch many professional cycling careers, Haig switched to the road.

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