The Cannondale-Garmin rider from Canberra took advantage of what he thought was a tiring group containing Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) with about 24 kilometres to go to the finish line.
Haas was counting on the rest of the group falling apart and becoming disorganised in the chase for his wheel, but it didn’t happen and he was reeled swiftly and ultimately dropped by Kelderman, Gautier and De Gendt.
That trio drove hard to the finish in the desperate hope of beating the peloton to the line, but it was caught at the death as Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan dragged each other to the finish line to take first and second.
Haas ended up 5min 44sec behind that duo, but was still happy with his efforts for the day as he described his decision to attack when he did. Some of his riding styles to gain speed were pretty interesting, too.
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“I was feeling terrible so I thought sometimes when you feel terrible, everyone must, so I thought I’d give it a crack and see where they were,” he said.
“I was away for a little bit, but then they started working so it was unfortunate. They were on good days too.
“But you don’t get many opportunities at a race like this. We wanted to come out today firing. I was on a mission this morning to get in that break and I was not letting it not happen so I had to try.”