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"My age and my experience aren’t really lined up the way they are for most professionals because I got my degree before I went into the sport full-time."

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano


14.01.2016 @ 07:00 Posted by Renaud Breban

Chad Haga is a late newcomer to the professional cycling world. After earning an engineering degree, he received a two-year contract extension during the winter with his Giant-Alpecin squad after he joined the German team two years ago.


"They always say the second contract is the hardest one, so just getting it at all is confirmation that my hard work has been noticed. It’s exciting to see how much more I can develop in the next two years and what kind of results I can get", he told Cyclingnews during the team presentation in Berlin, Germany. "I think I’ll get more opportunities where I’ll be the guy at lower-level races and some of the WorldTour races, and then I’ll also get more responsibility in the top races where we’re trying for results with somebody else."


Giant-Alpecin will change with the departure of Marcel Kittel to Etixx-Quick Step and the fact that Tom Dumoulin becomes a GC leader. But Haga will have the same status: "I’ve proven I can be pretty adaptable in whatever role the team wants me to play, whether it’s setting up the sprint train or riding on the hilly stages in support of a rider. That’s the area I hope to improve on most this year, my climbing, to survive later in the day on big mountain stages."


He will start his season at the Tour of Qatar and Oman. His main goal will be the Giro d'Italia, his second participation. "My age and my experience aren’t really lined up the way they are for most professionals because I got my degree before I went into the sport full-time, so I feel that each Grand Tour is helping me close the gap to where I’d normally be at my age,” Haga said. “I really feel that they give me a big boost especially in endurance, and I’m developing the ability to make it through a stage race without completely dying. My body just kind of absorbs those big days better than before."


Haga hopes to be present in Brazil this summer for the Olympics. "I would love to go to the Olympics but that’s a whole other beast. Being selected is about legs and a political process as well. I have high hopes but really no control,” said Haga.  "There is an automatic selection process but those results are a bit unobtainable so I’ll really just have to ride my best all year and hope the people who make the decisions notice it."



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