Three years after JJ Haedo made the jump from North American racing to Europe, his younger brother Sebastian Haedo has done the same. For 2010, they’re both on Saxo Bank. It’s the first time the Argentine brothers have raced on the same professional team.
“I don’t tell him what to do, but definitely after three years of experience in the peloton I know a little bit more about how everything works. So, it’s a little easier for him,” JJ Haedo said.
Until this year, Sebastian Haedo raced for Colavita-Sutter Home in the U.S., notching stage wins at the Tour of Elk Grove, the Tour of the Gila, Nature Valley Grand Prix, Joe Martin Stage Race and more.
JJ Haedo raced for Colavita from 2003 to 2005, before moving to Toyota-United in 2006. After winning more than two dozen races in the U.S., he jumped to the European pro leagues with CSC in 2007. He then joined Saxo Bank last year, where he won stages of the Circuit Franco-Belge, the Tour of Missouri, Tour de Wallonie and Tour de San Luis as well as the one-day GP Cholet in France.
Of course the level of competition is higher in the ProTour than in National Racing Calendar events in the U.S., but it’s also a different style of racing, the elder Haedo said.
“It’s very different in Europe,” he said. “You have to know when to give up, when to take it easy, and when it’s your day and to go for it. Otherwise it’s just full gas all the time, and it doesn’t work like that. You really have to choose your days.”
JJ Haedo pointed to the second day of Qatar as a perfect example of knowing when to save yourself.
“We were full gas in the third group,” he said. “At 40 Ks to go, you know you’re not going to have it. So you take it easy because it’s not your day. Tomorrow is another day. You can’t stress yourself. If you stress, that’s it.”
But the elder Haedo isn’t stressing about his brother adapting. At the end of the day, he said, it’s really pretty simple for new ProTour riders: “You just have to get a few slaps in the face by yourself, and then you figure it out.”