The 33-year-old from McKinney, Texas, has spent eight season racing at WorldTour level and returns to the Rally Cycling programme with precious experience.
“It feels like my career has come full circle,” Haga said on Thursday.
“I had a lot to learn when I first started and the team helped me and then ushered me off into a bigger program at the WorldTour where I spent eight years getting stronger, wiser and more experienced. Now I get to bring that back to the team, which has also grown in the years since. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”
Haga started his professional cycling career under Rally Cycling previous sponsors Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2012 and 2013.
He has since spent eight seasons with the various title changes of the Team DSM programme beginning in 2014 with Giant-Shimano, 2015-2016 under Giant-Alpecin, 2017-2020 under Sunweb, and this year under the new name Team DSM.
He is known for his opportunistic qualities and his time trial strengths, and selfless support rider during his time with the WorldTeams.
Haga now hopes to “reignite the spark of racing” and pursue his own results on Rally Cycling's ProTeam, which will allow him to “be in it to win it.”
At Team DSM Haga helped teammates win Milan-San Remo and the Giro d’Italia, and he competed in 12 Grand Tours.
His biggest personal results included a victory in the closing time trial at the 2019 Giro d'Italia, and he has placed in the top-10 in stages of the Vuelta a España, Giro d'Italia, Critérium du Dauphiné and Eneco Tour.
“I’ve spent eight years as a support rider in the DSM organization, but I want to enjoy racing as much as I did at the beginning of my career,” Haga said of his decision to return to Rally Cycling.
“I think this is a great way to kick that off because I’ve watched Rally Cycling race really aggressively for the last few seasons with a lot of success and I’m eager to be a part of that.”
Haga also said that racing for a ProTeam meant that he had the freedom to race and target personal goals with Rally Cycling.
“It gives me the opportunity to really push myself to achieve a result. I was always motivated to be in top form and to perform but to have the chance to be the guy going for results, it lights an extra fire in the training and the racing, you can really get in it,” Haga said.
Haga also gave his younger self that departed Optum to race in the WorldTour in 2014 some sound advice: “Prepare to be humbled but you’re going to have a great time and you’ll surprise yourself along the way as well.”
Rally Cycling has announced four other new signings to includes August Jensen (Delko), Kristian Aasvold (Team Coop), Gage Hecht (Aevolo) and Krul Wessel (SEG Racing Academy).
The team's performance manager, Jonas Carney, welcomed Haga back to the team in 2022.
“It was an obvious choice to bring Chad back. He’s a monster on the bike and an awesome person who will fit right into our group," Carney said. “There is no doubt that he can help our younger riders progress more quickly. He’s also capable of producing results himself when given the opportunity.
“Chad will be a leader in our team, but he will also be given opportunities to target races that suit him,” Carney added.
Rally Cycling full roster 2022
- Kristian Aasvold
- Stephen Bassett
- Nathan Brown
- Robin Carpenter
- Pier-André Coté
- Arvid de Kleijn
- Adam de Vos
- Chad Haga
- Gage Hecht
- August Jensen
- Colin Joyce
- Ben King
- Wessel Krul
- Gavin Mannion
- Kyle Murphy
- Joey Rosskopf
- Keegan Swirbul
- Nickolas Zukowsky
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