Chad Haga was kept safe by his teammates during a hard, fast day of racing today at the Amgen Tour of California, fighting up one of America’s most difficult climbs to the mountaintop finish on Mt. Diablo, finishing sixteenth place on the stage, 1:05 behind stage winner Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp-Endura).
Haga followed up his top twenty time trial performance the previous day with another excellent ride to maintain his top ten position on the overall standings. Haga sits 5:52 behind stage seven runner-up Tejay Van Garderen, who all but locked up his overall victory heading into the final day of racing in San Francisco.
Performance Director Jonas Carney reports on Haga’s efforts on the extremely difficult seventh day of racing:
Today was stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California with a mountain top finish on Mt. Diablo, a brutal climb.
Our plan for the day was to protect Chad Haga so he could give it his all on the final climb to solidify a top ten result.
The guys worked tirelessly to protect Chad, keeping him out of the wind, positioning him for the critical points on the course, and making sure he always had fresh bottles and food.
On the final climb of the day, the guys did everything they could to protect Chad for as long as they could. As BMC slowly ratcheted up the pace, one by one Chad’s helpers we dropped until he was alone about halfway up the final climb. From there Chad fought hard with some of the best in the world. He managed to stay with the leaders until the last two kilometers when the pure climbers started to hit out. At that point it was all about fighting for his GC. Chad ended up 16th on the stage and landed in 10th on GC with just one day to go.
Tomorrow is the final stage. It’s relatively short stage without a lot of climbing. There are some short but difficult hills early in the race that could make things hard, but generally we expect BMC to control things and for the sprinters teams to bring it together for a kick in Santa Rosa. We will try to form Voltrain and deliver Ken for another podium.
Jade Wilcoxson Finishes Fourth in Women’s Time Trial
Jade Wilcoxson, not to be outdone by her male teammates on the challenging San Jose course, which featuring a three kilometer finishing climb averaging a 10 percent grade, battled to fourth place in the women’s time trial event. Teammate Brianna Walle, who also raced the event and finished 7th, called the unusually long and hilly course “the most difficult time trial of my life”.