Heinrich Haussler: “The race didn’t go to plan for Garmin-Barracuda”
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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Heinrich Haussler: “The race didn’t go to plan for Garmin-Barracuda”

by Ben Atkins at 5:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
 
Australian reflects on an unlucky day for the Argyle team, but admits that they “didn’t have the legs” on tough new Ronde course

heinrich hausslerGarmin-Barracuda started the Ronde van Vlaanderen with the confidence gained from Sep Vanmarcke’s victory in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February. The American team was putting its support behind the 23-year-old Belgian, and his bid to become the youngest winner since Edwig Van Hooydonck back in 1989. For the ‘Argyle Armada’ it was to be an unlucky day however, as a crash at a key moment saw several of its riders delayed; Australian Heinrich Haussler finished as the team’s best rider, in 30th place, towards the back of the first big group.

“Ah, it was a hard race. I mean, it didn’t go to plan, but there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Haussler told VeloNation at the finish in Oudenaarde. “I’m just going to have a look at it, speak to the guys, have the meeting after the race and see what happened.”

One of the unluckiest points was a crash, halfway up the second ascent of the Paterberg, that saw Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren come down against the barriers. Haussler admitted though, that the incident may not have been as decisive as it first appeared.

“I didn’t come down but I mean, even if the crash didn’t happen I wouldn’t have made it in the split, so it doesn’t really matter,” he said.

“We were riding for Sep today, so we were just trying to keep him out of the wind and keep him up there but, you know, I think he just didn’t have the legs today…” he explained. “But you know, we tried, he was up there in the beginning, but just at the end he missed the last split.”

In the end, Vanmarcke finished in the same group as Haussler, right at the back in 48th place, with Vansummeren rolling over the line a few seconds behind him. Seven out of the eight Garmin-Barracuda riders finished the race, but the team was not able to play the part that it had wanted.

As far as the new course is concerned, Haussler is clear in his mind what he thinks of the three times each up the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.

“It’s hard, it’s really hard and stressful,” he said. “It’s just like the old one, small roads, left, right, up, down, but its a lot worse!”

With today’s result in mind, the rest of the peloton should watch out for Garmin-Barracuda in next week’s Paris-Roubaix. The team endured a similarly disastrous Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2011, but bounced back in the best possible fashion with Vansummeren’s emphatic victory in the Hell of the North.

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