Haussler confirms he’ll ride the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Haussler confirms he’ll ride the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

by VeloNation Press at 11:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

In recent days there has been growing doubt about whether Heinrich Haussler would be able to dispute the Het Nieuwsblad semi-Classic, but the rider told VeloNation on Wednesday that he planned to be at the start in Ghent.

“I think it will be okay for me to do,” he disclosed. “Today we were out on the bike for five hours and towards the end the knee wasn’t so good. It is not perfect, but I am getting physio, getting massages, getting it looked at. I will just take the next few days easy on the bike and hopefully it will be okay at the weekend.”

Haussler crashed in the Volta ao Algarve on Friday, suffering a blow to his knee, and had to pull out of the race the following day. The Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, which backs the Omloop, indicated that he and Cervélo team-mate Thor Hushovd were likely to be non starters in Saturday’s event.

2009 victor Hushovd has had a difficult start to the season due to illness, and had to withdraw from the Volta ao Algarve on Saturday. His form is clearly a long way off that which he showed one year ago. Then, both he and Haussler had a superb race, with the latter attacking repeatedly in the finale and the Norwegian then winning the sprint.

Haussler is determined to line out in the race, even if there is a question mark about how he will fare. “I’m definitely going to start,” he promised. “The way I am feeling now, I can ride but I’m definitely not at my full strength.

“It is certainly a good race to win, I’d love to win it, but to be honest my goals are a little bit higher and I would like to reach my peaks in the coming weeks.”

Haussler admits that he hit top form too early last season, and was running out of energy by the time the big Classics came around. Despite that, he was second in Milan San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, as well as seventh in Paris-Roubaix. He’s hoping that a later peak could see him win one of those monuments.

He planned to begin his season a little slower than in 2009. That is how things worked out, perhaps even being unintentionally quiet.

“Before Qatar, I got sick. I had five days off the bike. Then I had a crash in Algarve,” he said. “This was my first day back on the bike. I am not at full strength yet. So I still need a couple of weeks to find my form.”

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