Chad Haga, of Team Sunweb, is heading off for the second half of his European road campaign today. Haga and his wife Kate split their time between Fort Collins and Girona Spain. Like many North American Pro Tour pros, their time stateside is limited to a month 'break' in the summer and 3 months in the fall/winter before the January training camps begin.
Haga will start his racing with the Tour of Poland, 07/29 through 8/04, and hopes to race the Vuelta a España and Worlds. Chad's preparation for this race block appears to have been going well, he recently took the Mount Evans Strava KOM and the race win (1:47:49), The Rattlesnake climb KOM (14:10) and the Rist Canyon KOM with an astonishing 34:26.
Chad was on Sunweb's Giro winning team in May and hopes to one day ride the le tour. A Vuelta team selection would be a big step in that direction.
Chad Haga's Bio from the Sunweb website:
“Though you can’t be perfect, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to get as close to perfection as possible. This statement allows me to keep improving myself every day in things like my weight, technique and nutrition.” Chad Haga, a 28-year-old from Texas has been wearing the colours of the team since 2014. Usually he rides in a supporting role, but at time trials he can excel with his ability to transfer power and technique into high speeds.
In Europe Chad races at the highest level together with riders from different countries, something that he has always wanted. “Regardless of what the results are, I will always be happy if I achieve my full potential. Hopefully one day I will win some races, I think my best chances are in a time trial.”
Haga who lives in Spain, has still not completely adapted to the southern-European culture. “It feels like I’m in between cultures now. My wife and family think I’ve accumulated some strange habits. Especially when it comes to my dinner time: its too late for an American but still way too early for a Spaniard.”
This American all-rounder is an intellectual and introvert guy who likes to spend his spare time reading and playing the piano. The modesty within his character sometimes doesn’t work so well in cycling. “You have to be hard in a race, not only to yourself but also to your competitors. You need to shout and push back every now and then to hold onto a wheel, it’s not in my character to do so but it’s something I will work on.”
Chad Haga had an unfortunate 2016 after an accident with the team in February left him with a broken eye socket and 96 stitches. Chad was the most badly injured but just ten days after the accident, Haga was on his bike again. Although it took much longer before he felt really refreshed and confident again. This was not the end of all disaster as he lost his biggest inspiration, when his father passed away after years of illness.
“My father was a lover of cycling and has always been my motivator. His death has reminded me how rare the chance to be a professional is. I realized I have to enjoy it every second, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Despite all setbacks, Haga’s unbreakable character can be noticed through his determination in last year’s Giro and Vuelta. He also rode with the team to a seventh place during the team time trial at the World Championships in Doha.