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Chad Haga goes full circle as he completes Rally Cycling’s 18-rider men’s roster

The Texan returns to the team where his pro career began almost a decade ago and joins up with former WorldTour riders Ben King and Joey Rosskopf.

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Chad Haga will return to Rally Cycling eight years after leaving the team to race in Europe.

The 33-year-old is the final signing for the ProTeam 18-rider squad for 2022, which includes Ben King, Joey Rosskopf, and Robin Carpenter.

Haga started his career with the Rally squad back in 2012 — Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — and spent two seasons on the squad. During his time with the team, he won a stage of the Tour of Elk Grove and the Joe Martin Stage Race, before stepping up to the WorldTour with Giant-Shimano – now Team DSM.

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“It feels like my career has come full circle,” Haga said. “I had a lot to learn when I first started and the team helped me and then ushered me off into a bigger program at the WorldTour where I spent eight years getting stronger, wiser, and more experienced. Now I get to bring that back to the team, which has also grown in the years since. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

Haga has spent much of his WorldTour career working as a support rider for others and was part of the squad that help Tom Dumoulin to victory at the 2017 Giro d’Italia. Personal successes for the Texan have been fewer, but he took a long-awaited WorldTour victory in 2019 when he won the final stage of that year’s Giro d’Italia.

For Haga, moving back to Rally after so long is an opportunity to race for himself more often and take a more aggressive approach than he has been allowed to do in recent years.

“I’ve spent eight years as a support rider in the DSM organization, but I want to enjoy racing as much as I did at the beginning of my career,” Haga said. “I think this is a great way to kick that off because I’ve watched Rally Cycling race really aggressively for the last few seasons with a lot of success and I’m eager to be a part of that.

Also read: Rally Cycling signs Gage Hecht

“It gives me the opportunity to really push myself to achieve a result. I was always motivated to be in top form and to perform but to have the chance to be the guy going for results, it lights an extra fire in the training and the racing, you can really get in it.”

Rally’s performance manager Jonas Carney believes that Haga will have a bigger impact on the team than just his individual performances.

“It was an obvious choice to bring Chad back,” Carney said. “He’s a monster on the bike and an awesome person who will fit right into our group. There is no doubt that he can help our younger riders progress more quickly. He’s also capable of producing results himself when given the opportunity.

“Chad will be a leader in our team, but he will also be given opportunities to target races that suit him.”

Rally Cycling men’s roster for 2022: Kristian Aasvold, Stephen Bassett, Nathan Brown, Robin Carpenter, Pier-André Coté, Arvid de Kleijn, Adam de Vos, Chad Haga, Gage Hecht, August Jensen, Colin Joyce, Ben King, Wessel Krul, Gavin Mannion, Kyle Murphy, Joey Rosskopf, Keegan Swirbul, Nickolas Zukowsky.