When Jack Haig started the Tour Down Under on Tuesday, a top 10 overall finish was flagged as a “realistic” goal by his UniSA-Australia sports director Dave Sanders. However, by the time the six stage race had reached half-way with the first uphill finish on Thursday – on stage 3 from Norwood to Paracombe – he was fifth overall.
“If I went with them I probably wouldn’t stay away. So I stayed with the group and followed Mick Rogers’ wheel on the climb and got stuck there in the end, in the sprint. I had too much of a bigger gear I was trying to push. The head wind and the hill made the last 70 metres seem much longer.”
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Rupert Guinness first wrote on cycling at the 1984 Victorian road titles in Australia from the finish line on a blustery and cold hilltop with a few dozen supporters. But since 1987, he has covered 26 Tours de France, as well as numerous editions of the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana, classics, world track and road titles and other races around the world, plus four Olympic Games (1992, 2000, 2008, 2012). He lived in Belgium and France from 1987 to 1995 writing for Winning Magazine and VeloNews, but now lives in Sydney as a sports writer for The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media) and contributor to Cyclingnews and select publications.
An author of 13 books, most of them on cycling, he can be seen in a Hawaiian shirt enjoying a drop of French rosé between competing in Ironman triathlons.
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