Jack Haig hit by Grand Tour crash curse again at Giro d'Italia
Stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia may have sparked more polemics than racing but it was a cruel and painful day for Jack Haig, with the Australian in pain after crashing on Thursday and his injuries leaving him unable to hold the pace of the overall contenders on the climb to Crans-Montana.
The likeable Australian survived the dangers of the Croix de Coeur descent but suffered on the 13.1km climb up to the Crans-Montana finish. He finished 5:15 down on stage winner Einer Rubio (Movistar) and slipped to 15th overall, 6:38 down on Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).
While the battle for the podium and top six remains close and within two minutes, Haig conceded he is out of contention. Yet again, just like in the 2021 and 2022 Tour de France, crashes have cost him dearly. His third place in the 2021 Vuelta a Espana indicated his true talents but crashes have hurt him physically and mentally.
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"It's sad. It's happened two times at the Tour and I feel I'm a bit cursed in Grand Tours at the moment with bad luck," Haig said, stopping beyond the finish line to speak despite his disappointment.
"None of the reasons that caused me to lose time have been my fault, so it's hard to accept when it's like that."
Haig crashed just after the feed zone on Thursday, going down hard with around 70km to race. He got up to finish in the peloton but paid for his injuries during the shortened and so more intense stage to Crans-Montana.
"I hit the ground pretty hard and so didn't know what to expect today. I just wanted to start racing and see, but I didn't have it," he said.
"I didn't want to admit it to myself when I woke up but the crash left me quite sore."
Despite dropping out of overall contention, Haig tried to find some hope and optimism. He could have the freedom to go on the attack and target a stage victory, while Bahrain Victorious teammate Damiano Caruso is fifth overall at just 1:28.
"I'm still here and there's plenty more of the Giro to go. I'm sure I can make the most of it," Haig said, trying to pick himself up and find the light at the end of his tunnel of Grand Tour pain.
"I'm bruised and sad but we go on. Now I'll try to recover and try to help Damiano in the GC. I just hope there's a bit of sunshine to come."