Nathan Haas had a plan for stage two of his first Vuelta a España. He wanted to take the jersey with the blue dots. Some call if the KOM – King of the Mountain – jersey. He joined the early break. Won the sprint. And the podium awaited at the finish. He tells the story in a quick chat with Rob Arnold just before stepping on to the Garmin-Sharp team bus to drive to the start of stage three.
Click on the link below to listen to the exchange (but be warned the audio quality is pretty poor…).
“It worked perfectly. I just had to win the sprint at the top of the climb. And I did that.”
Okay. And then… you more-or-less just sat up?
“Yeah. I think the guys in the breakaway were a bit pissed off with me. About 30 metres after the line I pulled over on the side of the road, had a bit of a drink and just waved them goodbye. ‘Guys, please enjoy the 170km in the heat out the front… I’m just going to go back and sit in.’”
Did you actually unclip and wait for the peloton?
“Oh, I completely sat on the side of the road. I had to catch my breath from a bit of a sprint. And then… you know, just wave the convoy through and enjoy the rest of [the stage] because it was pretty fun knowing that I was going to be on the podium as long as I finished the stage.”