Australian Jack Haig joins some great names after finishing third in Tour of Spain

Australian cycling star Jack Haig made up for the pain of missing the Tokyo Olympics by joining an all-time great in finishing third at the Vuelta a España.

The 27-year-old Queenslander became the second Aussie in two years to make the podium of a grand tour and equalled superstar Cadel Evans’ third-placed finish in 2009 to claim the joint best finish by an Australian in the Spanish classic.

It was the perfect turnaround for Haig, whose broken collarbone in the third stage of the Tour de France cost him a spot in Tokyo.

“It’s incredible, I was just speaking to my wife saying how you always dream of getting on a podium at a grand tour, but I really never knew it was possible or not,” Haig said.

“It’s amazing to move to (team) Bahrain Victorious and then having the crash at Tour and come here with no expectations and be third on the podium.

Jack Haig and his baby celebrate finishing third in the Tour of Spain 2021. Picture: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“I have no words for it, and I want to thank everyone who got me here as it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not just a year’s work and there are so many people I’d like to thank along the way that helped me.

“I will keep approaching racing the way I do, as long as I’m happy with the right people around me and enjoy it. If you’ve got that, then the results come, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Haig is the second Aussie in as many years to make the podium of a grand tour after Richie Porte finished third in the 2020 Tour de France.

Haig was three minutes behind Spanish rider Enric Mas, while Slovenian Primož Roglič was a further 4:42 clear as he won his third straight Vuelta.

That continued Slovenia‘s dominance of cycling’s biggest races, with compatriot Tadej Pogačar having won the past two Tour de France titles.