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Haas celebrates a second victory at the Japan Cup

Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) celebrated victory at the Japan Cup and the end of his 2014 season with his Garmin-Sharp teammates.

Has has often worked hard for the Garmin-Sharp team and was given his reward with team leadership at the race. He finished off the job in style by beating Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and Grega Bolas (Vini Fantini-Nippo). It was his second victory of the 2014 season, after winning a stage at the Herald Sun Tour way back in early February. In between, he has raced for 90 days, finishing both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.

It was his second victory at the Japan Cup, a race that has played a huge role in shaping his career.

"This race has always been a special race for me. After winning it in 2011, I signed with a WorldTour team, so it's always been special," he said to Cyclingnews.

"Our team also has a long history of winning it with Jack Bauer and Dan Martin, myself and Steele Van Hoff winning the criterium so many times. We feel it's a fun race but one that we take seriously. You're also only as good as your last win and so I wanted to finish the season on a high."

Haas talked through the finale of the race form his unique, detailed point of view.

"It was a hard race, there was a lot of attacking and once the race was all back together, I think Garmin-Sharp and Sky had similar ambitions because they had sprinter-climber riders in Boasson Hagen and Swift and we had myself and Steele Von Hoff," he said.

"Dan Martin wasn't feeling good and said it was all for me today. When it kicked off with two laps to go, he actually took over and rode all the way to the last climb. I followed the attacks and a group got away. It was pretty hard to calculate but I won the sprint. It was awesome."

"Tinkoff-Saxo was riding for their sprinter Michael Valgren. Then with 400 metres to go, the Lampre-Merida team jumped over the top of them. Knowing that the last corner is one to sprint out of first, I jumped on them and then they faded just before the corner, it was perfect. I got the jump coming out of the corner, and I knew it was important to go before Boasson Hagen did. I kicked and he came up to my shoulder but I really wanted this win and so found another gear."

Haas loves racing in Japan and jokingly called on other bike fans to be as friendly and generous as the Japanese are with the riders.

"There is no race in the world like the Japan Cup," he said.

"My room is full of headscarfs, flowers, engraved chop sticks, beers and bookmarks. It's crazy. The fans are the nicest fans in the world, they come with presents, asking for signatures. Maybe a note to European fans for 2015. If you want bottles or caps, bring us green tea Kit Kats!"

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