By Kirsten Robbins in Alpharetta, Georgia
Juan José Haedo has continued to prove the speed of his sprint against the top sprinters in the world by winning two stages of the Tour of California and storming through the competition at the final stage of the Tour de Georgia.
Cyclingnews caught up with Haedo after he crossed the finish line to find out the details of the final stage in Alpharetta. "I didn’t feel that great today," noted Haedo. "But the team did so much work for me that I had to do something good for them. We did a lot of climbing up until now."
With a break hanging off of the front of the field for the majority of the race, Haedo commented on Toyota-United’s strategy for the finale. "We had the team go to the front but we really had to just wait until the last minute because we did not want to waste too much energy. Then it was a drag race to the line. I had to go all the way to the line and give it one hundred percent or more to be able to beat Gord."
Early in the race Toyota-United let the other teams do the work as they had a rider in the break. But once the break was in sight the team moved to the front to finish it off. "From the beginning we wanted to put a guy in the break so that we didn’t have to chase. With fifty kilometres to go there were two or three guys of ours chasing to help bring back the break with Lotto and Quick Step helping."
Haedo has been consistently sprinting successfully against the fast men usually competing in ProTour field sprints. "It is hard to sprint with these guys. When you have Rodriguez, Hunter and Fraser you go to the sprint and it is not one hundred percent you will win. You just have to go with what you know about how you feel and go with what you have in the moment," he explained. "I was never worried about not winning a stage at the Tour de Georgia. I did feel a little bit of pressure because it came down to the last day for me."
Many of the ProTour teams have their eyes on rising talents in the UCI America Tour and Haedo is certain to be at the top of that list. "My stage wins at the Tour of California and here at the Tour de Georgia are important for my future as a cyclist. I think I am ready to go to race over in Europe and perhaps I will begin to contact some teams."
Time will tell if Haedo will be the next product of the U.S. domestic team program. Until then, ProTour teams that come to race in America will have to keep their eye out for Haedo.