Nathan Haas pumped a fist in celebration of teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen as he crossed the finish line at the end of the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman on Saturday.
The Australian was celebrating not only Boasson Hagen’s stage victory but the “textbook” lead-out behind it with the Dimension Data team he has instantly registered with.
Haas has joined the newly minted top-tier squad this season following four years riding for variations of Garmin with whom he joined the WorldTour.
On Saturday he dropped Boasson Hagen off with 150m to go and then rolled in for 10th place within the front group, still beaming as he then circled back to the team compound.
“This team is a whole new experience for me in terms of cohesion and just passion,” Haas said.
“There’s no ego in this team, everyone is happy to commit and love it. I’m really proud of today.”
Haas was one of several new names the Africa outfit added to its books for 2016 including flagship signing Mark Cavendish, who, alongside Boasson Hagen and Jaco Venter, has delivered six victories this month.
The 26-year-old arrived in Oman off the back of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race where he hinted at form with a sixth place result.
In the Middle East, however, he has sacrificed stages that may have otherwise suited him to work for Boasson Hagen, who has had a hot run winning two stages, marking a stint in the leader’s jersey and now tops the points classification.
“When you’ve got this nice energy it’s something you don’t think about and I think it’s what’s going to make us one of the biggest teams in the world,” Haas said.