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“2015 objectives are 100% the Classics. San Remo is a big one, also Flanders and Roubaix. Then again the one-day races towards the end of the season. I really want to win some races next year.”


Photo: Sirotti




08.12.2014 @ 09:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Heinrich Haussler didn’t have his best season ever in 2014 by his own admission. But he will be bolstered by the recent news just after we interviewed him that his IAM Cycling team would be in the WorldTour, he has renewed focus on the 2015 Classics.


Australian rider Heinrich Haussler is one of the leaders of the IAM team, and the fast man specialises in the classics, but his 2014 was rather disastrous as he suffered from bad luck, illness and over training. He recently talked to about his 2014 season and his aims for the coming season, where he will look to be back to his best.


“My 2014 year was not exactly a good one. I was struggling to find my form, was actually totally over trained because I was doing to much and to hard training in the winter. I also was sick 3 times during the year which didn't make things better or easier.”


But it is a mark of Haussler’s talent and ability that even in a year where he faced so many issues, he was still able to win a high quality race, the opening stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt, netting him his first win in almost a year and the leader’s jersey, even if he only kept it for a day.


“To win a stage at Bayern again was a great feeling especially after being so bad during the Classics. It was nice to kind of bounce back after the Classics.”


In fact, as we pointed out to Haussler, he is not only a Classics specialist, but a Bayern Rundfahrt specialist, taking three of his 17 pro wins there and winning a stage in each of the last two editions.haussler explained why he thinks he performs so well in the German UCI 2.HC race.


“I really like the Bayern Rundfahrt and for some reason the stages that I won there were in really bad, cold conditions. Those are the kind of days where I ride my best. In the cold, wet, wind and rain. I love that stuff.”


It is unsurprising that a rider like Haussler, who enjoys the bad weather, enjoys spending long, tough, six-hour days in the saddle during those few weeks in March and April known as the Classics. He is confident he can return to his best level, particularly after a strong end of season, which saw him finish third in the GP d’Isbergues and fifth in Paris-Tours, plus taking a few top tens at the Tour of Britain, which saw him selected by his country for the World Championship Road Race.


“Yes like I said before I was really bad during the classic's this year which is a big disappointment because I really love these races. It also wasn't that easy coming back from the injuries I had in 2013 but now I have a full racing season in my legs and I'm getting back in to top shape for the classic's next year. I have been training very well in the last few weeks and I'm feeling strong.”


Haussler has selected the Classics as his big objectives, where, when he is on form, he is a force to be reckoned with, especially when teamed up with Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. 


“2015 objectives are 100% the Classics. San Remo is a big one, also Flanders and Roubaix. Then again the one-day races towards the end of the season. I really want to win some races next year. Just to get to my top level again. That is the goal for next year.”


While Haussler has enjoyed plenty of success in his career, he has been so close to a big Classics win on many occasions and it is something that is missing from his palmares. He was second, winning the bunch sprint 59 seconds behind Stijn Devolder in the Tour of Flanders 2009. But just a few weeks earlier he endured his biggest disappointment, finishing second by a tire width to Mark Cavendish in Milan-Sanremo after going for a long sprint and catching everyone off guar. Only Cavendish’s best ever sprint won him the race. Haussler was also second, winning the bunch kick 1 seconds behind Juan Antionio Flecha at the 2010 Het Nieuwsblad.


Despite the Classics woes in 2009, Haussler took his biggest ever win that year, soloing away to win stage 13 of the Tour de France, 4 minutes clear of the next rider and almost 7 minutes clear of the first rider from the peloton. Unsurprisingly that was in the horrid conditions that Haussler says he loves, with pouring rain and slick roads.


In fact, while many go on about Peter Sagan or Michal Kwiatkowski as being the peloton’s most versatile rider, Haussler also has a genuine claim, from being able to win solo at the Tour de France and GP Triberg to winning bunch kicks at Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphine, Tours of Qatar, Beijing, Switzerland. He also has mastered the two up sprint, winning at the Tour du Poitou Charentes. But his most surprising victory was also his first ever. He won stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana in 2005 on a split from two other rider in a 36km time trial! Not bad for a man who specializes in fast kicks in the final few hundred meters of a race.


The point I am trying to make is that Haussler has the talent and work ethic to succeed and if he gets his luck in 2015 and everything falls into place for him once more, like it did on that day in France in 2009, he can put all the wrongs and heartbreaks of 2009 and 2010 behind him and he can finally win his big Classic in 2015 with the IAM Cycling team.




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