GEELONG, Australia (VN) — Heinrich Haussler admits his past two seasons have been left wanting but is already relishing the prospect of being back to his 2009 best, where he finished second at that year’s Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen).
“It’s maybe what a lot of people don’t understand. In 2010, I was injured the whole year – I had 23 race days and it put me out, big-time. And I needed this year to put me back to that (2009) level,” Haussler told VeloNews.
“I didn’t do the Tour (de France) the last two years but I’ve got the Vuelta under my legs — that’s why I’m here now at the Sun Tour, just keeping the racing in my legs, (and) getting ready for next year.”
Speaking of 2012, after being one of six Australians in Garmin-Cervélo this year, Haussler will find himself the only Australian.
But the former German citizen and holder of a German racing licence – his father is of German origin, his mom Australian, although both his parents live in the country town of Inverell, New South Wales, where he was born; he gave up his German citizenship in 2010 – says it doesn’t bother him.
Fabian Cancelllara, another man who thrives on the stones of Belgium and France, is also hoping to rediscover the form that saw him beaten in his two favorite spring classics this year, Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Adding salt to the wound was Tony Martin’s season-long display of time trial dominance, having trumped the once-unbeatable Swiss time lord the previous three occasions they have met in the battle against the clock, and by significant margins.
Does Haussler see a fading Fabian, or a return of Fabulous Fabian?
“He’s not fading at all. Some years you have good years, some years you have bad years. Some years everything goes to plan, you’re on that level, and it just goes from race to race. (But) you can’t always be perfect, three, four years in a row,” said Haussler.
“It doesn’t happen. Not in cycling, anyway.”