Haga was the rider worst affected when a car ploughed into a group of Giant-Alpecin riders on a training ride in Spain in late January, needing 98 stitches from his face to his sternum. Just two months later he was racing again at Criterium International, and a few weeks on, he is putting in impressive displays at the highest level, currently sitting ninth overall at the Giro.
Haga and his team, however, don’t want his performances to be viewed as ‘good’ in the light of what happened at the start of this year, but as ‘good’ per se.
“The thing for Chad was not to be a good cyclist in relation to the accident that happened. If you finish 12th here it’s a good result, totally disconnected from the accident,” Giant-Alpecin manager explained to Cyclingnews in Arnhem at the Giro.
“It’s not a case of ‘ah this happened to you, it was good’. This was just, really good. Almost top 10 in a Grand Tour prologue. That means we leave it behind.”
Haga himself took great heart from his time trial ride and, like his manager, is looking ahead rather than behind.
“I was shooting for a top 10 but I’d have been happy with top 20 or 25. I knew I was capable of a good ride it was just a matter of doing it. The Giro has been on my calendar the whole time so it’s always been a big focus."
Subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel by clicking here.