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Throughout the 2015 season Orica-GreenEdge signee Jack Haig will be writing diary entries for CyclingTips about his experience as part of the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy squad. As Jack writes in this intro, he’s just moved back to Italy ahead of the European season; his final season before joining the WorldTour ranks with Orica-GreenEdge later this year.
During the Australian summer I spent a lot of time catching up with people, after spending most of last year in Italy with the U23 Australian team. When I was living in Italy and traveling around for races in Europe for those couple of months I thought it was pretty cool. But I guess I didn’t really realise how awesome an opportunity I had been given … until I came back to Australia and started talking to people and seeing their reaction to what I had been up to.
This is one of the reasons I got in contact with Wade at CyclingTips and asked if I could write for the website and share my story. I started to really enjoy talking about my experience and seeing people’s enjoyment/curiosity when they heard what I’d been up to and what was in store.
Something big that I’m really looking forward to is accomplishing one of the goals I set myself a while ago now — becoming a professional cyclist. I am lucky enough to have had Orica-GreenEdge reach out to me and offer a contract for 2016-2017.
One of the really cool things they let me do is stay another year in the U23s before joining them. This will allow me to have an extra year to develop and get myself grounded in Europe before joining the pro ranks. Hopefully this will mean I will step into the team not having as much stress as if I went straight there. Ideally this will lead to better performances and results in my neo-pro year.
I just arrived in Milan/Gavirate a couple of days ago with most of the other U23 guys: Alex Edmondson, Miles Scotson, Oscar Stevenson and Harry Carpenter. Rob Power got here a week and a bit earlier and enjoyed a couple cool days on the bike, but he also caught up with his brother in France.
Alex Clements is coming a little bit later because he had a wedding to attend, which I am a little jealous about — it would have been nice to stay in the warmer Australian weather for a bit longer, not that it’s been that bad here so far. The first couple days have been a bit hectic getting apartments set up, new bikes set up and Italian visa arrangements made, all while dealing with jet-lag and everything else that goes with settling into a new place.
The apartments we have are quite nice. I lucked out and probably got one of the nicer ones which I share with Rob. It has a great deck outside, a nice living area and bedrooms, but a bit of a small kitchen and cooking area. The apartments are just up the road from the European Training Centre (ETC), which is the AIS base in Italy. It has all sorts of stuff there, but we mainly use the gym, testing lab, recovery pools and the coffee machine. It’s great having that just down the road and being able to use all of the facilities down there.
The training is going to be pretty light here for the first week to let our bodies adjust to the time zone and weather changes. It has been great though the last couple of days, with really nice weather and getting back on the beautiful roads and climbs around where we live. I post most of my rides on Strava and you can check them out if you’re interested in seeing what roads we are riding and the area we live in.
I would love some feedback from you about what you would like to know or are interested in me writing about. When I was in year 11-12 at school, I was right into photography and making small videos but haven’t really done anything with those skills since I finished school. I would really like to start incorporating them into these little updates.
If you have any suggestions about what you would like to see, let me know in the comments and I will try my best to get it done. And if you are interested in more frequent updates about what I and the team are doing, I post photos quite regularly on Instagram
Until next time …