Canberra's Nathan Haas is set to make a stunning debut in the top league of cycling by racing for his new first division Garmin-Cervelo team in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide in January.
Haas, 22, didn't know his 2012 program before Saturday's 262km Melbourne to Warrnambool classic in which he finished second at 13sec to his Genesys Wealth Advisers teammate Joel Pearson of Queensland.
Yet when asked about the prospect of being picked by Garmin-Cervelo for the Tour Down Under that opens the World Tour circuit, the Canberran said, ''What a great way to start - at the Tour Down Under if I get a spot.''
Garmin-Cervelo sports director Allan Peiper has since confirmed Haas, who has dominated the National Road Series and won the recent Herald Sun Tour and Japan Cup races, would race in the six-stage race.
Haas and the Genesys Wealth Advisers team enjoyed a fairytale season end in Victoria on the weekend. Saturday's one-two by Pearson and Haas in the Melbourne to Warrnambool, and West Australian teammate Anthony Giacoppo's win in the Shipwreck Coast Classic were brilliant.
But as physically and tactically apt as Haas is, it is clear he also has the street nous needed for the World Tour as he revealed when recounting how a wary 2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas) tried to glean information about him before the Japan Cup last Sunday week.
''[Basso] said, 'What are you guys like? You did well at the Herald Sun Tour, but were there many climbs?''' Haas said.
''I said, 'There was one day of climbing, but I wouldn't say it was a pure climbers' course.'
''So he goes, 'What are you good at?'
''I said, 'To be honest, our team is more of a fast criterium team. So we don't really know how we are going to go in this climb [in the race].'
''He goes, 'Okay, okay, okay.'
''Then at the end of the race he comes up and shakes my hand and gives me this really serious look and goes, 'You lied to me. You said you were all sprinters. Well done ...' It was quite funny how he did it. I didn't want to say I was feeling good on the climb or anything, or have him thinking that I intended to do anything.''