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"It was really fast, and my crash did not bother me in the sprint.  Everything is fine.  Even if there is a lot of wind, and a lot of concentration and energy is required, I feel well protected and am certainly fit for Thursd...

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HEINRICH HAUSSLER

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IAM CYCLING

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TOUR OF QATAR

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11.02.2015 @ 17:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar smacked a little of déjà vu, or at least, almost. With a second victory by Alexander Kristoff and a sixth place for Heinrich Haussler, the road between Al Thakhira and Mesaieed had almost the same flavor of the second stage.  Only it remained Niki Trepstra in the overall leader’s jersey at the head of the general classification. 
 
Yet, even if the roads crisscrossing the desert can sometimes seem long and monotonous, the Tour of Qatar is hardly an easy or straightforward race. 

 

“The starting time for the stage was moved up one hour because of the severity of the wind,” explained Heinrich Haussler. 

 

IAM Cycling manager sportif Rik Verbrugghe interjected: “Wind, it’s with us the entire day.  We had it all day in the face.  And then, as soon as the breakaway took off, we had to get to work pretty early.  For the final 30 to 40 kilometers, we had our guys working.  But to ride all together and well grouped can be as much as an advantage as a disadvantage.  It is much easier to get caught up in crashes, and for us, it certainly turned out that way since five of our guys all hit the deck (Marcel Aregger, Matthias Brändle, Reto Hollenstein, Heinrich Haussler and Jonas Van Genechten).  Fortunately, none of them were seriously injured.  Only Reto took a pretty hard hit to the chin and knee, but still nothing terrible. 

 

"Then we had to put ourselves out there for the final, and to be honest, it was a bit of a mess.  It is not easy to remain well positioned, control the pace and fight against the wind all at the same time.  The guys made a small mistake in the final, but nothing too grievous.  We will talk it over tonight calmly on the way to the team hotel and make sure we do not repeat the mistake tomorrow.  But everyone understands that.”
 
Haussler felt no anger in view of the team’s slight mistake in the final. 

 

“The guys really worked hard for me again.  But everyone was very nervous because of the wind in the end.  There were two small crashes in the last kilometers, and we had to reset ourselves each time.  Vincente Reynes helped me a lot.  It was really fast, and my crash did not bother me in the sprint.  Everything is fine.  Even if there is a lot of wind, and a lot of concentration and energy is required, I feel well protected and am certainly fit for Thursday, no problem.” 

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